Why do sharks swim so close to shore? Scientists have finally discovered the answer

Summer is almost here. So are sharks.

Over the years, shark sightings have become more common near beaches and shallow waters, as many sunbathers have been subjected to unfortunate encounters with the apex predator.

A new study at Padaro Beach, a gorgeous sandy enclave north of Los Angeles, sheds more light on why so many sharks, especially great whites, approach the shore as the summer Memorial Day weekend approaches. Now I can understand it.

Researchers are better understanding why sharks prefer to come closer to shore. YouTube / Malibu Artist

the study, Published in the journal “Frontiers In Marine Science”it turns out that they are actually young shark “cubs” that are drawn en masse to the shallowest waters they can find.

The data shows how many young sharks are moving towards the coastline. Frontiers of marine science

What is it about the coast, especially within just a kilometer of a sandy beach, that makes it so appealing to baby chins?

First, sharks are not cared for by their mothers after birth.

Young puppies and juveniles usually congregate in “nursery” enclaves without adults. This can be seen on beaches in the Santa Barbara area, where 22 were tagged and tracked in 2021-2022.

As it turns out, baby sharks prefer warm waters and have been observed near the surface during the hottest parts of the day.

“We showed that the juveniles directly changed their vertical position in the water column to remain between 16°C and 22°C.” [60.8° to 71.6°F]preferably between 20°C and 22°C [32° to 71.6°F]Emily Spurgeon, lead author of told

“This may be the best way to maximize growth efficiency within the nursery.”

Researcher Emily Spurgeon wants to learn more about why young sharks gather together so much. Patrick Rex / Frontiers of Marine Science

But Spurgeon added that “temperature isn’t everything,” and the researchers next want to better understand why young sharks flock to nurseries in the first place.

“Future experiments will investigate relationships between individuals, for example whether some individuals migrate between nurseries at the same time,” she said, similar to what humans do with sharks. Another factor is avoiding contact with predators, he added.