Sharks Learn New Skills From Other More Successful Sharks

lemon shark photoGary Rinaldi/CC BY-SA 2.0

Perhaps this should be obvious, intuitive... Some really interesting research on sharks' ability to learn new skills is being highlighted by BBC News. Scientists from the Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bahamas have discovered that lemon sharks engage in "social learning"—the first time that such ability has been observed in cartilaginous fish.

In experiments untrained lemon sharks completed tasks more quickly working with trained lemon sharks, suggesting that the untrained sharks "are able to pick up social cues from each other."

Because of the type of experiment done, the scientists say they don't know the actual social learning process going on, but it's "quite obvious" that this is what's happening. Lemon sharks learn from other lemon sharks.

Beyond the research itself the thing that strikes me in all this is how it just takes one more brick from the human-created wall that separates humans from other animal species. Differences certainly exist but none of them support the notion that humans are unique in the ways we have historically fashioned for ourselves. Perhaps it's time we assume that other animals are essentially like ourselves until proven different, rather than the other way around.

Tags: Animals | Animal Welfare | Sharks


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