The pros and cons of being a hammer shark

The pros and cons of being a hammer shark

But as soon as the cephalophile tilted up or down, the power came into action quickly, enabling a rapid ascent or descent. This helps to explain why hammer heads are “more maneuverable than a common shark,” Dr. Parsons said, adding that this ability would help pick up food from the seabed.

The researchers also measured how much cephalopods are pulled. The winged shark, which has a very large hammer, seems to handle “20 to 40 times the traction” as a common fish, Dr. Parsons said.

For such a head, the butt looks like a “pain,” however the benefits it provides should outweigh the costs.

Marion Porter, a biologist at Atlantic University in Florida, said that analyzing multiple organisms was “a real breakthrough” for Hammerhead hydrodynamics, not involved in the research. “Let’s start reading the difference between them.”

But, he added, “there are some limitations with computational models.” In the real world, sharks swim with their whole body through constantly changing sea conditions. When you try to recreate things like this in models, focusing on one body part at a time, he says, “things can get muddy very quickly.” (Actually, in A similar study Released in 2018, Dr. Porter found that the hammer body produces lift overall.)

“The hammer, from all angles of attack, creates a lot of traction,” Dr. Parsons replied. “But some of that lost speed can be restored with properly placed paddles and structures.”

He said he hoped other researchers would continue to investigate the issue: “The best research questions make up 10 more.”

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Cary Douglas

About the Author: Cary Douglas

Wayne Ma is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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