Female Tiger Sharks Interacting With Beach Tourists Have Higher Hormone Levels

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New research observing the shark’s social relationship interactions with beach tourists showed that Female Tiger sharks have higher hormone levels other than other same species.

Tiger shark

(Photo : MICHELE SPATARI/AFP via Getty Image)

The research was published in the Animal Behaviour journal. The article is also available to read on the Phys.org website.

According to the report, tiger sharks are commonly seen on Bahamas beaches, making the area a popular tourist attraction. As a result, the researchers looked into the tiger sharks’ emergence on the coast and the effects of mass tourism.

National Geographic explained that the tiger shark has a scientific name, Galeocerdo cuvier. The size of the said shark could reach from 10 to 14 feet, weighing from 850 pounds to 1,400 pounds.

 The report added that tiger sharks could thrive in tropical and subtropical waters.

 Furthermore, National Geographic added that the tiger shark population is also affected and threatened. It explained that tiger sharks are known to have a high source of vitamin A used for vitamin oil. Meanwhile, they are also hunted for their skin and fins.

 Meanwhile, the American Oceans said that tiger sharks’ appearance looked like tigers. From the name itself, the tiger skins have dark stripes. The shark skin is enough to hunt in the ocean, giving them perfect camouflage.

Female tiger sharks

The study shared that female tiger sharks interacting and visiting the tourist area were larger and had higher hormone levels, unlike other sharks that did not visit or come by. The sharks visit the beach because tourists throw fish and other foods.

Scientists from the United States and Brazil, in collaboration with FAPESP, conducted the study and led to the discovery. The report noted that the study was said to be the first to consider the physiological state of sharks’ behavior.

The first study’s author Bianca Rangel explained that the area was seen with larger female sharks, and some said sharks were pregnant. The author added that they found omega-3 in the tiger sharks’ blood.

To further analyze the behavior of tiger sharks, the research considered the monitoring project by the Bahamas and Florida. They looked into the sharks that frequently visited the beach. The researchers also investigated the 33 sharks found in Grand Bahama’s northwest island from 2013 to 2014.

Also Read: World’s Biggest Seagrass Discovered in Bahamas that Could Help the Environment 

Shark monitoring

Then, the researchers looked into the tiger sharks for analysis based on their blood samples. The researchers found from the samples that the female tiger sharks spending time on the beach had higher Omega-3 levels, nitrogen isotopes, and fatty acids.

Furthermore, the researchers put tags on released sharks to monitor their movements. Meanwhile, the study noted that receivers were also placed on the seabed for the sharks’ visit. From there, the researchers shared that receiver notified 22 sharks in the area.

The researchers noted that the data was based on a 90-day analysis. Then, they determined the tiger sharks that visited the area from the food given to them

Ultimately, the researchers found that the frequent female tiger sharks in the area had higher hormone levels. The study explained that social dominance or reproduction readiness could be factors to consider in higher hormone levels.

Related Article: New Research Shows How Marine Predators Find Food Hotspots in Ocean Eddies

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