ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0139.v2
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: blackfin reef shark; Carcharhinus melanopterus; shark behaviour; shark ethology; shark ethogram
Online: 18 January 2023 (08:49:34 CET)
The chondrichthyan lineage diverged from the osteichthyan line around 440 million years ago, resulting in a vast evolutionary gulf between modern elasmobranchs and other vertebrates. Though this has supported the assumption that sharks are ancient, dangerous, and binary-minded, intelligent actions including social interactions have been noted in the field, while laboratory studies have confirmed a variety of cognitive capacities. Yet, due to fear of sharks and the difficulties of observing them in their aquatic environments, few ethological studies have been done, so their natural behaviour remains little known. On noting that Carcharhinus melanopterus displayed complex actions during incidental meetings, a long-term ethological study of the species was carried out on the north shore of Mo’orea Island, French Polynesia. During the 6.5 years of the study, new behaviours continued to present. The 35 context-specific actions identified as comprising the behavioural repertoire of C. melanopterus are described.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0099.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: ethology; anthrozoology; semiotics; animal sanctuaries; captivity; anthropization; animal ethics; non invasive observation
Online: 16 October 2017 (05:42:33 CEST)
The present essay illustrates the methodological and theoretical premises of an emerging research area carrying out both ethological and (bio)ethical implications: the ethology of the freed animal (EFA). Unlike existing ethological fields, EFA focuses neither on non human (NH) animals in natural conditions of freedom in their own environment, nor on NH animals kept in conditions of “captivity”. Rather, EFA consists of a comparative study of NH animals that are released from a condition of more or less abusive captivity and instead relocated in an environment more appropriate to their species-specific and individual characteristics and inclinations. Ideal places for this study are contexts like “Animal sanctuaries” and parks/reserves provided with a camp or station for researchers, where a previously-captive NH animal can be reintroduced in his/her natural habitat. Even though EFA exists already, as a de facto practice of the specialized and/or volunteer personnel running sanctuaries and parks, the field still lacks a recognizable scholarly paradigm, and it is yet to be acknowledged at institutional/academic level. By consequence, one important aim for creating a field like this lies in the establishment of an active interaction between the two parties involved (researchers and sanctuaries/parks operators).