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Thursday, October 21, 2010

How intelligent are sharks? They may use math to hunt!!



Some people in this world, even scientific experts  may have come to view sharks as not being as smart as they really are. This is due to false and erroneous information which has been integrated into our minds by the World's media.  Now however, there is new scientific evidence that  suggest sharks actually use mathematics when they are hunting for their dinner!! . This scientific  evidence has been reported at the Nature.com website.

The scientific study was reported online June 9 in Nature, "is the latest aiming to show whether animals sometimes move in a pattern called a Lévy walk.
s sometimes move in a pattern called a Lévy walk.""

"Unlike random motion — in which animals take similar-sized steps in any direction, like a drunk stumbling around — Lévy walks are punctuated by rare, long forays in any direction. Draw a Lévy walk on a graph, and its squiggly pattern echoes a fractal, the mathematical phenomenon whose shape remains similar no matter the viewing scale."

“Living organisms, when allowed to make freely willed decisions, seem to end up obeying some kind of mathematical law,” says Gandhimohan Viswanathan, a theoretical physicist at the Federal University of Alagoas in Maceió, Brazil, who was not involved in the study."

 "David Sims, (a researcher at the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom in Plymouth) and his colleagues  say they have firm evidence for Lévy behavior in 14 species of open-ocean marine predators, including tuna, swordfish, marlin and sharks (although not great whites). The key is the sheer amount of data, on depth and location, gathered by electronic tags, says Sims. His group collected more than 12 million data points describing how the animals swam in the ocean over 5,700 days."

"Many of the animals displayed Lévy behavior at least some of the time, Sims and his colleagues report — “the strongest evidence yet that these Lévy patterns are exhibited by wild animals,” he says. Lévy behavior showed up more often in waters where plankton, fish and other food was scarce. In regions with plentiful food, random motion dominated. This observation, says Viswanathan, fits with earlier suggestions that “animals may use a Lévy flight motion to improve their chances of finding prey.”

Apparently some scientists are not as open to this hypothesis that sharks use math to hunt.One scientist  "Simon Benhamou, an ecologist at the National Center for Scientific Research, or CNRS, in Montpellier, France, hasn’t analyzed the new marine data but says that statistical errors can often suggest Lévy behavior where it doesn’t exist. Benhamou also argues that Lévy pattern studies wrongly assume that predators are “fully stupid, unable to process information and act accordingly” as their environment changes."

This last paragraph suggests we will have to wait until more research is done on sharks to see if this finding about sharks using math to hunt can be replicated in another study of  these amazing animals.

source:http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/60106/title/Sharks_use_math_to_hunt 

Source of image:http://www.kidzone.ws/sharks/photos/hhpic2.htm 

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"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



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Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



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Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



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Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.