Six research expeditions were conducted at Dyer Island to observe the surface behaviour of white sharks in the presence of bait. Observations were made from a commercial cage-diving boat. We observed 140 white sharks that exhibited 9 different types of behaviour: parading, bait following, visual inspection, breach, tail slap, tail stand, spy hop, repetitive aerial gaping, and head-up vertical emerging. Breach and tail slap were most often performed by male sharks, and tail slap and tail stand were more often performed by mature animals. The ethogram consisted of an average of 20 behavioural units, with a significant transitional pattern from bait follow to parading and from parading to bait follow. The individual surface behaviour of white sharks is not a simple stimulus-response reflex, but rather a complex tactical situation in which animals show plastic responses. Many aspects of white shark surface behaviour resemble those of other predator species that spend time at the surface.
Sperone E;BRANDMAYR, Pietro;Bernabo' I;BRUNELLI, Elvira
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