Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 45–54 | Cite as

Diel movement patterns of the scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) in relation to El Bajo Espiritu Santo: a refuging central-position social system

  • A. Peter Klimley
  • Donald R. Nelson


Movement patterns of scalloped hammerhead sharks in the vicinity of El Bajo Espiritu Santo, a seamount in the Gulf of California, were determined by tracking by ultrasonic telemetry 13 sharks and marking 100 sharks. The 13 tracked sharks swam back and forth along the seamount ridge throughout the day. They did not swim in different directions to reduce swimming effort when currents changed from a parallel to a perpendicular orientation to the ridge. Sharks tracked up to 8 km away into the pelagic environment soon returned to the seamount. From such trackings and repeated observations of marked sharks over periods of several weeks, it is believed that most sharks disperse and return to the seamount in a rhythmical fashion. The separate departures of individual hammerheads in five paired trackings indicated that the sharks left the seamount either in small groups or singly. For these reasons, we argue that the social system of the scalloped hammerhead shark can be described as a refuging system.


Social System Small Group Movement Pattern Perpendicular Orientation Pelagic Environment 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Peter Klimley
    • 1
  • Donald R. Nelson
    • 2
  1. 1.Marine Biology Research Division (A-002), Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of CaliforniaLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.California State UniversityLong BeachUSA

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