This Video of Two Megamouth Sharks Are Our Only Evidence of The Species' Social Lives

In early September 2022, curious fishermen took a video of two megamouth sharks swimming together off the coast of San Diego. Little did they know that they were very fortunate to spot the shark species and how significant their footage is in the study of megamouth sharks.

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Megamouth sharks are a very elusive species. Since its discovery some five decades ago, there have only been 273 sightings of the species, most of them spotted because they were caught in fishing gear. Of these sightings, only five are sightings of megamouth sharks swimming freely, so this new footage is a truly rare opportunity.

The footage in question was analyzed by a team of scientists led by Zachary Skelton, who described the video as humanity’s only knowledge of the social lives of megamouth sharks.

Analysis of the footage suggests that one of the sharks was male and the other female, implying that the two were “engaging in courtship or mating behaviors.” Furthermore, neither shark was seen attempting to feed, strengthening the claim that this was indeed a mating ritual. However, Skelton admits they heavily relied on other studies and species to make sense of the short footage.

This only shows how much we still don’t know about megamouth sharks. As the director of the Shark Research & Conservation Program at the University of Miami — Neil Hammerschlag — puts it, the topic is a “black box to scientists.”

(Image Credit: David Stabile/ Live Science)

Source: neatorama

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