New Publication : 28 March 2018 (Brena et al)

For a solitary predator, individual behaviour influences social interactions in a food competition situation.
28 March 2018 | Contact: PIERPAOLO BRENA | Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci.

Social interactions between animals influence the structure of their populations. The study of this phenomenon in predatory species makes it possible to decipher ecological phenomena on a larger scale, such as the spatial variation of predation pressure. Little is known about the social interactions between solitary predators. Not only do these species rarely interact, they are also rarely observed by humans. To circumvent this problem, a team from CRIOBE including Pierpaolo Brena, Johann Mourier, Serge Planes and Eric Clua, with technical assistance from Pascal Ung, developed new system to quantify social interactions within artificial aggregations of lemon sharks. (Negaprion acutidens). The study is underpinned by more than 10-years of long-term monitoring data collected by the CRIOBE.

Published 28 March 2018 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the study shows that the individual behaviour of sharks plays a dominant role in the organisation of the group, and not their morphological attributes.

Brena, P.F., Mourier, J., Planes, S. & Clua, E. (2018) Concede or clash ? Solitary sharks competing for food assess rivals to decide. Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological sciences. DOI : 10.1098/rspb.2018.0006

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