Shark cameras reveal secret lives of South Africa's great white sharks



Sharks are more agile than scientists thought, as they have revealed innovative images of great white fins.

The marine biologist Oliver Jewell of WA helped capture images of sharks swimming through seaweed to hunt seals in South Africa.

He and a team of scientists attached trackers with video cameras to eight shark fins and collected 28 hours of images of each animal.

"The cameras allow us to see what is happening below the surface. "The rest of the technology is like an adjustment bit: a motion sensor that can see every movement a shark makes," Jewell said.

A view from the fins chamber like a great white shark swims through beds of seaweed off South Africa.
Camera iconA view from the fins chamber like a great white shark swims through beds of seaweed off South Africa.Image: Jewell et al, Biology Letters

"We can see how they interact with their environment in real time, and they are able to make quite spectacular 180 degree turns in the algae forest."

Jewell, a researcher at the Center for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems at Murdoch University, said that in the past scientists had to guess how sharks sailed in the foliage.

"We knew that seals used kelp forests when there were sharks and sharks hung around them, but we could not see what was happening," he said. "But now we can see that they go inside and are actively looking for stamps."


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