Sharks have personalities too, as some of them can be 'gregarious' and have strong social connections, whilst others are more solitary and prefer to remain inconspicuous, reveals a new study.
According to the study, individual sharks actually possess social personalities, which determine how they might interact with group mates in the wild.
The study led by the University of Exeter and the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA) found that the species of shark (Scyliorhinus canicula), found throughout the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, group together by resting around and on top of one another, sat on the bottom of the seafloor.
Dr David Jacoby, a behavioural ecologist now at the Institute of Zoology, London said that they 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.
The researchers added that these results were driven by different social preferences (i.e social/antisocial individuals) that appeared to reflect different strategies for staying safe. 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 study was published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.