Here’s some good news for all you beach-goers: You’re not on the lunch menu for sharks after all!
This comes from a recently-published study, listing dolphins, squid and fish as the main entree items for sharks. They could care less about us, humans, unless we get in their way, that is. Some sharks will eat whatever is around or easiest to get to. Bottom line, don’t get mistaken for some kind of marine mammal!
From 1957 to 2000, researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz traced the diets of 14 adult white sharks. They used embedded carbon isotopes and nitrogen instead of the naked eye, as previous studies observed sharks from above water. UC Santa Cruz’s findings were published in the PLoS One scientific journal, a huge milestone for scientists since little is known about a shark’s diet.
Overall, the team discovered that different sharks eat different things, with their diets changing over time. Some go specifically for squid and fish while others fill their bellies with the meatier stuff, like seals. But as learned through this extensive study, the dining habits of these toothy creatures change as they get older. It’s similar to how we may have avoided broccoli as a youngster but as adults, purposefully include the greens in every meal possible. This begs the question: do “Hawaiian” sharks become gluttons for ahi poke?
While you may not be as tasty to sharks as long believed by humans, these findings don’t mean you can’t become an appetizer. A shark’s accidental nibble of a human limb would leave many visitors with a bad taste of Hawaii! Be sure to read up on some advice we gave last week on how to avoid chaos in the ocean, and hopefully you won’t become their next meal!
Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Oct 22, 2012