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Shark attacks related to the phases of the moon

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Created by: LSU Communications & University Relations

Baton Rouge — A new study from LSU and the University of Florida suggests increased shark attacks during the phases of the moon. The exact cause remains unknown, but researchers say that more than average shark attacks occur during periods of high lunar lighting, and less than average attacks occur during periods of low lighting. discovered. Although many different species of animals have shown behaviors associated with moon phases, so far few studies have investigated the relationship between moon phases and shark attacks.

What makes this research important is the abundance of data analyzed by researchers. Their findings are based on a record of global shark attacks collected from the International Shark Attack File during the 55 years from 1960 to 2015. [Notes:floridamuseum.ufl.edu] It is housed in the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. The ability to calculate the number of shark attacks around the world and for decades remains unclear, but it is clear that there is a clear correlation between the phases of the moon and shark attacks. I made it.

“It’s not a matter of night light that sharks see. Most shark attacks occur in the sun, but the moon is on the earth and its oceans in much more subtle ways, such as pulling by gravity. Steve Midway, LSU Associate Professor and Researcher for this project, said: Combining his expertise in statistical analysis, he was able to add a unique perspective to this study.

Scientists say it’s too early to prove that moonlight is the cause of shark attacks. However, their new data may serve as a component to better understand shark attacks and help make recommendations for future water-based recreational activities.

“The wealth of data we have suggests that there is something worth continuing to consider,” Midway said.

Read the full article in the journal “Frontiers in Marine Science”. [Notes:frontiersin.org]

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