Sharks have been filmed inside an underwater volcano not lengthy after an eruption. The footage is a part of a documentary investigating the hyperlink between sharks and volcanoes, with species of the group discovered residing close to geological hotspots all over the world.
Shark scientist Michael Heithaus, from the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University, got interested within the connection after studying about sharks that lived in Kavachi—probably the most lively underwater volcanoes within the south-west Pacific Ocean. The sharks had been first discovered contained in the volcano caldera by Brennan Phillips in 2015.
“Seeing that got me thinking about just how important volcanoes are to life in the ocean,” Heithaus instructed Newsweek in an e mail interview. “And it isn’t just about active volcanoes. It’s about the habitat they create out in the middle of the ocean.”
The documentary, Sharkcano, will premiere on National Geographic on July 21. It is a part of Nat Geo’s Sharkfest. This contains three weeks of programming devoted to the science of sharks and their habits on Nat Geo, and two weeks on Nat Geo WILD.
In this system, Heithaus travels to areas throughout the globe how completely different species of shark have taken benefit of the situations submarine volcanoes present. Off the coast of Réunion, within the Indian Ocean, he finds bull sharks making the most of the turbulent water, utilizing it as a manner of ambushing prey. In Guadalupe Island, west of Baja in Mexico, the crew finds an abundance of child seals that present straightforward meals for sharks.
Heithaus says volcanic islands are enticing spots for sharks as they have an inclination to have vitamins flowing into the water, offering the idea of meals chains. “And where you have lots of food you tend to have lots of sharks, if there isn’t too much fishing to reduce their populations,” he mentioned.
“Most of the open ocean is a place without a ton of food…In the open ocean it’s volcanoes that have created most of the land out there. So, at the base level many sharks depend on volcanoes in ways most people wouldn’t think about. If there hadn’t been volcanoes in certain areas there would be no reefs or no land. That would mean that the species of sharks that need those habitats couldn’t live in those areas without the presence of a volcano.”
He mentioned there might also be different advantages of residing close to volcanoes. If the volcano remains to be lively, it could actually present heat water they use for nurseries.
In the case of Kavachi, Phillips and the crew arrive on the web site in time for an eruption. The volcano sends ash up above the ocean degree. The caldera lies simply 60 toes beneath the floor of the ocean and, whereas the volcano is thought to erupt frequently, Phillips mentioned it caught them “off guard.”
They then despatched an autonomous, robotic digicam into the volcano to get a more in-depth have a look at the life inside. The digicam sunk into the volcano and filmed what was occurring because it descended. Images confirmed cloudy water till, “out of nowhere,” they noticed quite a few sharks shifting shortly round. Phillips mentioned there are lots of causes for the sharks to not go into the volcano, but they seemed to be “thriving” in there. He mentioned they do go away when there may be an eruption and seem to sense it earlier than it occurs. “This seems to be a community that is used to this activity,” he says in this system.
Heithaus believes the sharks are contained in the volcano as a result of they like the nice and cozy water or are searching for meals. In phrases of their having the ability to sense an eruption, he mentioned: “Sharks have incredible sensory systems. Like many other species they have the ability to detect changes in the environment before we do. They head for deeper waters before hurricanes hit—probably because they can detect changes in the atmospheric pressure. For eruptions, we don’t know but they might sense vibrations in the water or detect some of the sounds that come before an eruption.”
Scientists are actually working to know this habits, he mentioned. Heithaus will now proceed to review shark habits to, finally, find out how we are able to higher shield them. “A big part of that work is understanding what determines where sharks naturally occur. The types of islands they associate with—including volcanoes—is part of that puzzle. Ultimately, what I really want to know is when, where and why are sharks important to the health and function of ecosystems so we can start to restore their populations and functions in the many places their populations have crashed.”
Sharkcano will premiere on National Geographic on Tuesday, July 21.
This article has been up to date to incorporate extra info on Sharkfest.