Hammerhead sharks are intriguing creatures, and when they begin some of their deepest dives, they take a deep breath and close their gills. New research suggests that this is the case. The study published in the journal Science details how hammerhead sharks stay warm in cooler water, which is often encountered in the depths of the ocean.
By closing their mouths and gills, they prevent heat from leaving their body when diving deep. This helps maintain their internal temperatures, making it easy to traverse cooler water easy.
It is strange that an animal which lives in the ocean, like a Shark would hold its breath while diving. Sharks do not breathe like mammals. Instead, their gills pull important oxygen from the water. As such, the scientists say they didn’t expect sharks like the hammerhead to exhibit similar behavior when diving deep. It makes sense, however, that the hammerhead would be holding their breath in order to keep warm.
Many species of hammerheads, like the scalloped hammerhead, rely on the temperature of the water around them to regulate their body temperature. As such, any warmth they want to hold onto in cooler waters must be preserved in their bodies as much as possible.
That’s why it makes sense that they close off any possible ways for that heat to escape. They can keep warm because they hold their breath. Heat cannot escape through the gills or mouth of hammerheads.
The research involved here is intriguing, and helps us learn more about the animals that inhabit our oceans. As scientists continue tracking these animals, we’ll likely learn more about their behaviors. It’s also possible they’ll discover more terrifying and bizarre creatures at the bottom of the ocean, too, as our oceans are still criminally unexplored.
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