Looks can be deceiving, the saying goes, and the same can be said of animals in the marine environment. To the casual observer, it would appear that the mighty great white shark and the common tuna dont have a lot in common. In fact, just the opposite is true, according to new research led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and their colleagues in Germany.
In the first exploration of muscle dynamics in live lamnid sharks (a group that includes the great white and mako), the researchers found that in fact tunas and lamnids share a surprisingly close array of swimming muscle dynamics.
Scientists who study large fish in the open ocean have long noted the similarities in species that exhibit high-performance swimming mechanics, particularly those built for fast and continuous motion. For example, such swimming is exhibited in lamnid sharks, which have long been suspected of sharing a basic locomotor design with tunas.
Mario Aguilera | Scripps
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