A species of shark known as the lemon shark is able to share information through social interactions, a new study shows. When placed in the same pen with a trained partner, lemon sharks have more success completing a task for a food reward, and can remember what works when they are in the pen alone. This is the same kind of social learning — where one animal pays attention to another of its species and pick up on what works for them — that’s been seen in several other species. These include ravens, chimpanzees and even bats, but it hasn’t been seen before in animals known as “cartilaginous fish” like sharks, rays and skates.
“I think it’s a really cool finding,” study researcher Tristan Guttridge, of the Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bahamas, told the BBC. “It’s a pretty exciting finding that these little lemon sharks are able to pick up social cues from each other.”
Sharks are usually thought of as an anti-social species, so it’s pretty surprising that they can pick up on social cues. The researchers think this might play a role in the shark’s migration patterns.
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