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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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

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

  2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Coat

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

    1. Chuckterzella

      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.

  3. Thomas 4

    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.

    1. Psyx
      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".

      1. AdamT

        Re: Evolutionary mischief

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

      2. I think so I am?

        Re: Evolutionary mischief

        As well as crocodiles and alligators

      3. Martin Budden
        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)

      4. P. Lee Silver badge
        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.

  4. All names Taken

    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?

    1. Nuno

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

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        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.

    2. Fibbles

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

      1. Mayhem

        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.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      @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.

  5. David Pollard

    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?

    1. Psyx

      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!

      1. AJ MacLeod

        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.

    2. Euripides Pants Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Astounding sensitivity

      Their nervous systems are hydraulic...

  6. Solly
    Joke

    But..

    ... can they get Channel 5?

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      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!!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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".

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      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?

  8. Mr Young
    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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