Lemon Sharks Learn Behavior From Each Other

Written by on September 10, 2012 in Marine Life

A team of scientists has found that lemon sharks learn from each other’s behavior.

Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris. Photo credit: Apex Predators Program, NOAA NEFSC.

Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris. Photo credit: Apex Predators Program, NOAA NEFSC.

The team compared the ability of juvenile sharks working with trained or untrained partners to complete certain tasks.  They found that juveniles working with trained partners (sharks who had already been taught how to complete the tasks) could complete tasks more quickly and successfully than juveniles partnered with untrained sharks.

“It’s a pretty exciting finding that these little lemon sharks are able to pick up social cues from each other,” said lead author Dr. Tristan Guttridge of the University of Miami and managing director of the Bimini Biological Field Station.

Additionally, the study tested the behavior of the juveniles who had been previously been partnered with trained sharks to see if they could perform the same tasks on their own. They were able to complete a greater number of tasks than the juveniles who had been partnered with untrained sharks.

You can read more from the BBC here: Lemon sharks ‘learn’ skills by watching each other.

You can find the full paper in the journal Animal Cognition here: Social learning in juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris.

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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