Social learning in juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris

Tristan L. Guttridge, Sander van Dijk, Eize J. Stamhuis, Jens Krause, Samuel H. Gruber, Culum Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social learning is taxonomically widespread and can provide distinct behavioural advantages, such as in finding food or avoiding predators more efficiently. Although extensively studied in bony fishes, no such empirical evidence exists for cartilaginous fishes. Our aim in this study was to experimentally investigate the social learning capabilities of juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris. We designed a novel food task, where sharks were required to enter a start zone and subsequently make physical contact with a target in order to receive a food reward. Naive sharks were then able to interact with and observe (a) pre-trained sharks, that is, 'demonstrators', or (b) sharks with no previous experience, that is, 'sham demonstrators'. On completion, observer sharks were then isolated and tested individually in a similar task. During the exposure phase observers paired with 'demonstrator' sharks performed a greater number of task-related behaviours and made significantly more transitions from the start zone to the target, than observers paired with 'sham demonstrators'. When tested in isolation, observers previously paired with 'demonstrator' sharks completed a greater number of trials and made contact with the target significantly more often than observers previously paired with 'sham demonstrators'. Such experience also tended to result in faster overall task performance. These results indicate that juvenile lemon sharks, like numerous other animals, are capable of using socially derived information to learn about novel features in their environment. The results likely have important implications for behavioural processes, ecotourism and fisheries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Cognition
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Fingerprint

Negaprion brevirostris
Sharks
shark
sharks
learning
Food
Fishes
ecotourism
novel foods
Chondrichthyes
Social Learning
Fisheries
food
Task Performance and Analysis
fish
Reward
fisheries
predators
fishery
predator

Keywords

  • Elasmobranchs
  • Group living
  • Local and stimulus enhancement
  • Social facilitation
  • Social information use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Guttridge, T. L., van Dijk, S., Stamhuis, E. J., Krause, J., Gruber, S. H., & Brown, C. (2013). Social learning in juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris. Animal Cognition, 16(1), 55-64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-012-0550-6

Social learning in juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris. / Guttridge, Tristan L.; van Dijk, Sander; Stamhuis, Eize J.; Krause, Jens; Gruber, Samuel H.; Brown, Culum.

In: Animal Cognition, Vol. 16, No. 1, 01.01.2013, p. 55-64.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Guttridge, TL, van Dijk, S, Stamhuis, EJ, Krause, J, Gruber, SH & Brown, C 2013, 'Social learning in juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris', Animal Cognition, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 55-64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-012-0550-6
Guttridge TL, van Dijk S, Stamhuis EJ, Krause J, Gruber SH, Brown C. Social learning in juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris. Animal Cognition. 2013 Jan 1;16(1):55-64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-012-0550-6
Guttridge, Tristan L. ; van Dijk, Sander ; Stamhuis, Eize J. ; Krause, Jens ; Gruber, Samuel H. ; Brown, Culum. / Social learning in juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris. In: Animal Cognition. 2013 ; Vol. 16, No. 1. pp. 55-64.
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