After watching the movies like the Meg and Jaws, every one of us has imagined sharks as the fiercest water killers. But strike that all, sharks are not just killers, they do eat grass and plants. YES!!! omnivore shark does exist.
After a long 4 years of study, a group of scientists at the University of California in Irvine has finally succeeded in finding an omnivore shark.
What can be termed as a shocking discovery, scientists have found the Bonnethead Shark. The specialty of bonnethead shark is that unlike all other sharks it also feeds on seagrass.
This allowed the scientists to prove that all sharks are not carnivores. Some of them survive on both grass and meat which tag them as omnivores.
If someone is new to the terms of biology, Herbivores are the animals which intake grass and other plants for survival. Carnivores are those animals which just eat meat to survive. Omnivores are those animals which eat both grass and animals. That means bonnethead shark is an omnivore shark.
How scientist came to the conclusion that Bonnethead shark is Omnivore shark?
Everyone thought that the Bonnethead shark is carnivorous and sometimes incidentally eats seagrass. But Samantha Leigh proved all of them wrong by conducting a diet on 5 bonnethead sharks.
Bonnethead shark comes from the family of Hammerhead sharks and is the smallest among the 10 types of Hammerhead sharks. Indeed it is very hard to distinguish between the bonnethead shark and the hammerhead shark.
The team has captured 5 feet bonnethead sharks and gave them a 3-week diet consisting of seagrass and a small piece of squid. The diet was in such a way that it consists of 90% seagrass and 10% squid.
The researcher’s team including Samantha Leigh has found that bonnethead sharks have heavily taken seagrass obtained from Florida Bay.
The team also disclosed that high levels of enzymes are present in bonnethead shark which breaks down fibers and carbohydrates. These enzymes are not found in the carnivore sharks.
As we say one leads to other. The discovery of omnivore shark has led to the discovery of one more major issue regarding the conservation of sea grass.
Samantha Leigh has described seagrass as the most important for nature and it is the high time we need to preserve this vegetation. As all the 4.9 million bonnethead sharks depends on this seagrass for food and it also releases oxygen.
Conclusion about Omnivore shark:
Samantha Leigh who is a co-author and an expert in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine has insisted to change the negative feeling on sharks.
She also went on to say that there might be another species of plant-eating sharks.
In the blood and liver tissue of bonnethead shark, a carbon isotope has been found. This indicates that the seagrass is rich in nutrients. Not only that seagrass also helps to filter the water and absorb the excess of carbon dioxide from the environment.
Bonnethead sharks are generally found in the regions of western Atlantic ranging from south of Rhode Island to the Gulf of Mexico and in the entire Caribbean. In the eastern Pacific region, the bonnethead shark can be found along the waters from south of San Diego to Ecuador. You can also find the omnivore shark in the like waters where the temperature is above 70 degrees.