Deep sea sharks appear to be buoyant, surprising researchers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Deep sea sharks appear to be buoyant, surprising researchers

C. Meyer attaches an accelerometer to the pectoral fin of a sixgill shark. Credit: Steve Kajiura/UH Manoa C. Meyer attaches an accelerometer to the pectoral fin of a sixgill shark. Credit: Steve Kajiura/UH Manoa

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - Researchers say they are a step closer to understanding the biology and habits of elusive deep-sea sharks after new studies involving cameras attached to the creatures.

West Hawaii Today reports (http://bit.ly/1Fv8UXo ) that University of Hawaii researchers say they have discovered that the sharks are surprisingly buoyant.

UH Manoa scientists worked with the University of Tokyo to analyze the swimming patterns of two species, sixgill and prickly sharks. They found that the animals must put greater effort into swimming downward than swimming upward.

Most sharks sink if they stop swimming, and scientists have believed that the creatures are either sink naturally or have a buoyancy similar to that of water.

But data logged by a flight recorder-like device on the deep-sea species suggested otherwise.

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