Till today we knew that only humans and some other animals such as dolphins, spiders and ants have personalities or characteristics such as how bold or aggressive they are as an individual. However, heartless and gigantic sharks have personalities too according to researchers from the University of Exeter. The research was published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
For the first time, researchers noticed that these gigantic killers possess unique social personalities which differ from individual to individual. The research team looked for personality traits in juvenile small spotted catsharks (Scyliorhinus canicula) by recording their social interactions with each other in groups under three different habitat types. Catsharks are found throughout the waters of northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean.
For the research, scientists monitored ten groups of sharks kept in three different environments which differed in level of structural complexity.
“We found that even though the sizes of the groups forming changed, socially well-connected individuals remained well-connected under each new habitat. In other words, their social network positions were repeated through time and across different habitats,” Dr. David Jacoby, a behavioral ecologist who was involved in the study, said in a statement.
“These results were driven by different social preferences (i.e., social/antisocial individuals) that appeared to reflect different strategies for staying safe,” he explained. “Well-connected individuals formed conspicuous groups, while less social individuals tended to camouflage alone, matching their skin colour with the colour of the gravel substrate in the bottom of the tank.”
The new findings may help in determining how these eating machines might interact with group mates in wild. Researcher Professor Darren Croft said that new finding is amazing, but more research needs to be done.