Accidentally attacking people: Study: Sharks mistakenly mistake surfers for seals

Accidentally attacking people: Study: Sharks mistakenly mistake surfers for seals

accidentally attacking people
Study: Sharks mistake surfers for seals

Many beaches are prone to shark attacks. However, animals usually do not follow people at all, as a study has now found. From a shark’s point of view, a surfer’s paddling looks like the fins of their prey. The reason for this is probably the physical deficiency of the animals.

Shark attacks on humans are rare – and when such attacks do occur, it is usually a matter of mix. A recently published scientific study confirms the notion that sharks mistakenly mistake swimmers or surfers for their usual food – such as seals – because of their movements.

one of the British Study published in the scientific journal “Journal of the Royal Society Interface” Focused on great white sharks. This type of shark, which is particularly afraid of humans, can see olfactory and sound waves very far, but has poor eyesight. According to the study, the great white shark can only distinguish between colors and shapes. Therefore his eyesight is six times worse than that of humans. This means that great white sharks can hardly differentiate between humans and pinnipeds.

According to the study, the paddling and rowing movements of surfers and swimmers led them to conclude that they are seals that make similar movements with their fins. According to the researchers’ findings, the risk of mis-surfers being mistaken for animals preyed upon by great white sharks is particularly high.

man looks like pinnipeds

For the study, video recordings of marine mammals were compared to humans swimming and surfing from the shark’s point of view—that is, from below. From their point of view, great white sharks are unable to “make a clear visual distinction between humans and pinnipeds,” the authors write. “This is the first study to look at cases of misidentification from the perspective of the great white shark,” said lead author Laura Ryan, a biologist at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Last year, however, fewer than 60 shark attacks on humans were counted worldwide. According to the study, however, these attacks promote a “proportionate” level of fear, as little is known about the behavior of sharks.

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