Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Lemon sharks 'learn' skills by watching each other


Lemon sharks have the ability to learn from each other's behaviour, scientists have found.

The team compared the performance of inexperienced juvenile sharks working with both trained and untrained partners.

The results showed that sharks working with trained partners could complete tasks more quickly and successfully.

The study is thought to be the first to demonstrate social learning in any cartilaginous fish.

"I think it's a really cool finding," said lead author Dr Tristan Guttridge, director of the Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bahamas, whose paper was published in the Journal of Animal Cognition.

The results are a significant breakthrough, according to Dr Guttridge.

"It's a pretty exciting finding that these little lemon sharks are able to pick up social cues from each other," he said.

The evidence came from a task-based experiment with juvenile sharks conducted in an underwater pen.

Read on:
 http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/19484530

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