Ocean News

Jaws gay?

16th September 2008

All right, enough teasing, back to the "mating" zebra sharks! What is your first thought when you look at this picture? Looks like mating zebra sharks to you? It did to me when I first had a look at Petra Gangolf’s excellent set of underwater photographs. Petra is a keen diver spending a lot of time underwater, this time in Thailand. She came across these two guys and was excited to see mating zebra sharks I guess (not an uncommon sight there).

Sounds good? Did to me, but there was just one little thing which did not match the picture. On one of the photographs, both sharks can be positively identified as males! Discussing this with a colleague, we already saw the Nature headline: JAWS GAY!! Well, of course it’s not that easy (or we were not THAT lucky I should say). But now I was really interested in Petra’s photographs and I asked her to let me have a close look at it. So we did. Have a read!

I think this is a very good example of how fellow divers can help to shed more light on the elusive life of free-living sharks in their natural environment. There are many divers out there every single day and they see and document things which nobody ever saw before. So keep your eyes (and camera lenses) open! There is much more "behaviour" out there we hopefully are able to reveal in the future!

Brunnschweiler&Pratt 2008.pdf (204.0 kB)