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Sharks evolved aircraft-like attributes to suit habitats

accelerated swimming
from the journal article
Nov 27 2017

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In the News, Publications

In a paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers report that shark species have evolved diverse physical attributes to help them thrive in different ocean ecosystems.

Lead author Adrian Gleiss, Ph.D., a biologist at Murdoch University Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, together with Jean Potvin, Ph.D., physicist at Saint Louis University and Jeremy Goldbogen, Ph.D. biologist at Stanford University-Hopkins Marine Station, have investigated the body composition of 32 shark species to understand their buoyancy control.

The researchers found that these top predators mirror the aerodynamics of either zeppelins or fixed-wing high speed aircraft, depending on whether they evolved to cruise through the deep ocean or motor through shallow waters.


Physical trade-offs shape the evolution of buoyancy control in sharks
Adrian C. Gleiss, Jean Potvin, Jeremy A. Goldbogen
Published 8 November 2017.DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1345