Sharks are among the top most frightening animals on earth, obviously with their humongous size, sharp tearing off teeth along with their capability to a human alive that is bound to happen.
1. Why do Sharks Travel Solo?
Sharks do not have a preference for traveling solo or with a group or a companion, it depends upon the type of shark as well as its survival strategy.
Some sharks like to be isolated because when they do not fear the predator and they can beat competition by being alone. Some sharks are more social by behavior, while others do not enjoy a lot of company.
Large shark categories like whale sharks and basking sharks prefer a solitary life mainly because of their position in the ecosystem which makes them a top of the pyramid predator.
Sand Tiger Sharks also travel solo like Bull sharks, but there are always exceptions. So, Bull sharks who prefer solitude will not mind sharing their space when there is a dangerous situation, although other times they are ferocious towards most marine animals for the same.
Similarly, with Sand Tiger sharks sometimes you can observe little social behavior which is in the form of biting and body rubbing activities, and can be termed as bonding. Marco, Thresher, and Greenland sharks usually travel solo.
2. Why Do Sharks Travel in Groups?
Sharks travel in groups for a lot of reasons and benefits, some of which include; social relationships with fellow mates helps them to travel more comfortably because they get a sense of familiarity and easily adapt to newer environments.
Increased group automatically gives rise to more interaction with fellow mates, which in turn helps in more efficient mating.
Traveling together also facilitates the sharks in navigating better, the different members help in providing cues and the orientation of the whole group thus improves.
Since the distances are very large and it is really difficult to keep up with the company because there is competition for food, territorial behavior, and breeding rights, and some sharks travel alone and then meet up with groups in between for some company and then tread off to their ways.
If the number is large or even in many cases it’s just 4-5 sharks it helps them to protect themselves from larger predators because as the focus is not on just one of the sharks it is not easy to put it down.
Another challenge in living with groups is reduced individual fitness as the exact potential of each member is not reached because it is not required in a large group. It might also lead to increasing diseases as when it spreads, it would affect the whole group.
3. How Many Sharks Are Present in a Shark Group?
Depending upon the species the number can vary. Hammerhead sharks travel in large groups having approximately 10-20 members, sometimes even more; although you can find them traveling alone because they neither need help hunting nor defending.
The Great White Sharks usually travel in pairs, not crowding too much. These are huge and can survive solo however because they are very amicable they like company and do not as such have territory issues, unlike some other shark species.
Some others like Lemon sharks travel in yet larger groups of 20 or more members. Grey Reef Sharks travel in varied numbers and can be in tens or even go up to 100 members in a group. Nurse sharks travel in small groups, which are usually formed to facilitate hunting.
Blackstrip sharks travel in small groups usually formed to help them in foraging. The most affectionate relationships are found between Big-Nose sharks as they make long-lasting and compassion-filled bonds.
Sharks are another example of good relationships these sharks live in large schools and get together even for play and grooming activities. They are very interactive animals and survive in varied habitats.
4. Do Sharks Swim, Sleep and Hunt Together?
These are social animals in nature but not always, the animosity is dependent on various circumstances. Although, they favor their health, safety, and security at all times and do not mind the company when they want to protect or feed themselves.
This goes on further to the extent that the sharks might hunt in groups but even they do not share their prey.
It’s like a first come, first serve situation where the member who kills, gets to keep the hunt and another activity that some sharks perform in groups is sleeping.
Although the sleep of sharks is not very well defined, because they usually have periods of rest in between their active days during which they sometimes are inclined towards small groupings.
The sharks alternate between swimming and drifting, drifting are periods in between swimming where they use very less energy and a kind of rest or restoration.
Mating requires them to make a pair or a couple, but even this relationship does not go long-term as they might not stick to each other after their reproductive process is over.
5. Types of Shark Groups
There are two types of shark groups, based on the type of members
- Schools – Schools of sharks are a group big or large, which comprises members of the same species, which may or may not stay together permanently.
- Shoals – Shoals are groups of sharks that are not limited to one species, multiple types of sharks are together and usually collect for feeding purposes.
6. Finishing Notes
Sharks travel or keep moving perpetually usually because they are looking for food, on the longer term view they can not live for very long in any area because of environmental issues like pollution or to escape extreme climatic conditions like freezing winters.
They also travel long distances for breeding, as they do not get acclimated to a new place very easily and also do not like to get very comfortable. Sometimes they also travel if they feel there is impending danger.