In the great deep, most sea creatures know it’s definitely not a wise idea to get in the way of sharks. These gigantic predators will consume just about any fish whenever they are hungry.
However, a new study in the northwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean revealed that sea turtles are actually not as afraid with tiger sharks. Researchers were baffled to find out that turtles usually do not alter their surfacing behavior to prevent a possible shark attack.
Neil Hammerschlag of the University of Miami led the team that discovered about this. They bolted satellite tags to dorsal fins of tiger sharks while they glued tags to shells of adult loggerhead sea turtles after laying eggs on the beach.
According to their observation, winter months are the time when the two different species have lesser encounters since the turtles are usually at the sea floor while sharks usually spend time at the surface. Things take a different turn during summer as they switch preferences and that makes the turtles an attractive prey for the trigger sharks. Despite this, the turtles showed no change in their surfacing behavior. Other sea creatures would naturally give in to the “landscape of fear” to prevent predator attacks.
As Hammerschlag pointed out:
“Sharks may not be an important factor influencing the movements of turtles in the study region.”
He also added:
“In addition to the unpredictability of a shark attack over such a large area, it is possible that fishing of tiger sharks has reduced their populations to levels that no longer pose a significant threat to turtles, with other factors becoming more important, such as the need to avoid boat strikes.”
So yes, turtles are probably the bravest underwater creatures for being unscarred of even these hungry tiger sharks – that is despite their small size.