back to article Baby sharks are so HARDCORE they avoid baddies like tiny ninjas

Baby sharks can fool passing predators even before they're born - by freezing on the spot or simply playing dead. Shark embryo in an egg case The embryonic sharklings can sense a hungry predator by detecting their electric fields and avoid being eaten by staying very still and slowing down their breathing. Boffins already …

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Anonymous Coward

I guess they have to resort to this until the lasers are fitted.

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I'm thinking that with all their electric mojo, it's just a matter of time before they just evolve lasers.

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Coat

I see that they attmpted and failed to attach the frikkin laser beams with cable ties.

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Those cable ties were put on by the scientists? I had rather thought that with all the plastic debris in the ocean the little fellows had genetically adapted. Damn.

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Evolutionary mischief

It might be in a few million years that certain species of shark develop this electro-sensory organ even further and become fully electrogenic, like eels and rays. That'd be awesome and a great saving on laser beams.

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Pint

Re: Evolutionary mischief

"It might be in a few million years that certain species of shark develop"

If sharks are famous for one thing, it's NOT moving with the times.

They are the living embodiment of 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

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Re: Evolutionary mischief

Pretty sure they would vociferously object to being "fixed" too...

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Re: Evolutionary mischief

As well as crocodiles and alligators

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Devil

Re: Evolutionary mischief

If sharks are famous for one thing, it's BIG SHARP CHOMPY POINTY TEETH!!!

(icon is the only one with pointy teeth)

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Linux

Re: Evolutionary mischief

I thought mutations happen whether you want them or not. Millions of years of tiny mutations and none of them survived. What are the odds?

Perhaps one of them at least got feathers, but was cruelly ridiculed to death.

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Maybe we read too much into the baby shark responses?

"predators approaching" thing

surely a baby shark in an egg is too young (it has not been to shark school yet?) to judge whether a change in incoming sensory info is threatening or non-threatening. Those baby sharks that did not temper their breathing merely becoming food so giving an impression that there is intelligence where really it is a sensory response of a particular kind?

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as evolution works, those baby sharks that did not respond to that stimuli by standing still, did all die...

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I'm guessing you missed the bit where they said that the embryonic sharks 'react with an innate avoidance response'?

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Not only is it an innate avoidance response but I expect it also acts as a training mechanism over time for identifying what is happening around them - adult sharks (along with many other predatory fish) use electroreception heavily to locate and capture prey once they have been drawn to the right general area.

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@All Names Taken

You're right, but I don't think anyone said 'intelligence'. The phrase the researches are reported to have used is:

"Embryonic sharks are able to recognise dangerous stimuli and react with an innate avoidance response,"

Presumably, 'dangerous stimuli' is anything big enough to eat them, whilst smaller movements in the environment can be ignored.

On a similar note, did anyone see that programme recently about baby sharks (of those species that give birth) eating their siblings whilst still inside their mother, and then munching on subsequent eggs? Before they are born, they have already killed.

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as natural selection works, those baby sharks that did not respond to that stimuli by standing still, did all die...

Fixed. Killing off your siblings does not give you new features.

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Astounding sensitivity

They can detect 1 uV/cm. How do they achieve this? Presumably there is also a problem of noise from their own nervous system, so how do they overcome this?

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Re: Astounding sensitivity

I can hear my heartbeat, but it doesn't stop me hearing other stuff. Animals are really good at swiftly editing sensory input to make it useful again. Just think how you barely notice smelly co-workers after a few hours of exposure!

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Re: Astounding sensitivity

Every one of these examples of sensory capability is still astounding though - that there are so many different examples of amazing sensory systems in nature (many of which we just can't come close to matching in manufactured systems) around us doesn't make them less impressive, rather more so.

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Coat

Re: Astounding sensitivity

Their nervous systems are hydraulic...

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Joke

But..

... can they get Channel 5?

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Go

Re: But..

Of course not! It takes sharks at least 5-6 years until they are smart enough to get a checking account or credit card so that they can pay their BBC license fee!!

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Anonymous Coward

HARDCORE

"Baby sharks are so HARDCORE they avoid baddies like tiny ninjas. Baby sharks can fool passing predators even before they're born - by freezing on the spot or simply playing dead." Ripper was pretty hardcore too. But thanks to his grip of drugs, he wasn't just playing dead. So he was even MOAR hardcore. Always remember his last words: "u are so fucking stupid".

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Re: HARDCORE

Er... What's the Shark/Laser Beams angle on this Ripper of which you speak? Were his last words directed at you personally?

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Coffee/keyboard

That's not a laser!

We at least train for a few months with a white led - baby sharks with lasers really are lethal

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