Turducken Of The Sea Baffles ScientistsBy: Jennifer Curra - August 15, 2013
There is always a bigger fish. Isn’t that the old adage? A three feet long dogfish recently found this out. Scientists from the University of Delaware were researching sand tiger sharks through a tagging process where sensors are initially released to entice the sharks for later retrieval. Menhaden, containing the sensors, were used as bait, which caught the attention of the dogfish. As it turns out, the dogfish served as the ultimate bait. During the retrieval process, these scientists pulled a large adult female sand tiger shark from the ocean with the smaller dogfish still inside.
According to the (Ocean Exploration, Remote Sensing, Biogeography Lab) ORB LAB Facebook page, which is regulated by the scientists responsible for this project, “We caught one large female on our first line Friday, but we were not expecting to catch her like this!”
Motivation behind this project serves, in part, to further investigate the decreasing number of sand tiger sharks noted in recent decades. Researchers have noticed a 75 percent decrease in these sharks over the last thirty years. These scientists aim to determine whether this population of ocean dwellers is rebounding or continuing to decline. Interest in maintaining the equipment that led to the finding of the “shark within a shark” is so strong that the researchers from the University of Delaware and Delaware State University are offering financial rewards to anyone who stumbles upon a sensor either on the beach or in the ocean waters off Delaware.
While the official Shark Week may be over, it appears that not all sharks are ready to retreat from the Hollywood attention. The general public still remain entranced with these creatures as noticeable from Twitter.