Science & Technology

Scientists Found World's First Vegetarian Shark Species, Eat 60% Of Sea Grass

JAVED SAIFI | 0
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| September 8 , 2018 , 18:55 IST

In a big research conducted by the scientists, they have found the world's first omnivorous shark species, which consumes up to 60 percent of seagrass, media reported on Saturday.

The research was conducted by the experts from the University of California-Irvine and Florida International University in Miami who had decided to investigate the bonnethead sharks' dietary habits after reading reports of them munching on seagrass.

In the study, five bonnethead sharks were fed on a three-week diet of seagrass and a series of tests on them in process of findings indicated that the fish successfully digested the seagrass with enzymes that broke down components of the plants, such as starch and cellulose.

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These findings overturn the idea that all sharks are exclusively meat-eaters and have a "carnivorous gut".

Samantha Leigh, the study's lead author, told Fox News that, "We were absolutely surprised to find that the bonnethead sharks were taking an omnivorous digestive strategy." 

"We have always thought of sharks as strict carnivores, but the bonnethead is throwing a wrench into that idea by digesting a fair amount of the seagrass that they consume," he added.

The bonnetheads species are one of the smallest members of the hammerhead shark family and are abundant in the shallow waters of the Americas, where they usually feed on crab, shrimp, snails and bony fish.

(With Inputs From IANS)