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Mechatronics

Underwater Robot Tracks Sand Tiger Sharks

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Not quite so exotic
Ann R. Thryft   11/5/2012 12:29:16 PM
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mrdon, that's an interesting question about tagging jellyfish. The jellyfish's flesh would have to be solid enough--and they would have to be capturable without harm to them or us--to be tagged in the first place. The researchers in this project designed a special sling to hold sharks while they were tagging them. I'd bet tagging jellyfish is a lot harder. Does anyone know if there's already a tagging system for these slippery critters?

mrdon
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Re: Not quite so exotic
mrdon   11/5/2012 1:56:13 PM
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Hi Ann, I didn't think about how researchers would tag jellyfish because of their fleshy bodies when discussing the application. Good Question!!! 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/5/2012 2:59:38 PM
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Good question about whether it could be used to track jellyfish, MrDon. My guess is that it would be difficult to tag a jellyfish -- their tissue seem too fragile. But it may depend on the nature of the tag.

mrdon
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Re: Not quite so exotic
mrdon   11/5/2012 3:10:35 PM
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Hi Rob, Thanks for the comment. It may be possible with today's tech but hopefully someone reading this post can shed some light on the answer.

Charles Murray
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Re: Not quite so exotic
Charles Murray   11/5/2012 7:36:09 PM
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If the Great Whites need to be tagged, I'm afraid I won't be able to volunteer for the job, Rob. I'm busy that day.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/6/2012 11:16:41 AM
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Chuck, I think you just identified the problem with tracking sharks in order to ensure beach safety. I would guess that even a strong effort to tag sharks would leave countless sharks untagged.

Scott Orlosky
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Re: Social sharks
Scott Orlosky   11/18/2012 6:47:26 PM
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I like the concept. If enough variety of species could be made "trackable", then interspecies interactions as well as environmental responses might give us a wealth of information.  It seems we know more about the inner workings of atoms than we do about ocean ecosystems.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Social sharks
Ann R. Thryft   12/4/2012 11:49:41 AM
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Note that the sharks tagged in this article are very small compared to great whites, so tagging them is possible and a lot less dangerous. I think Scott's point is well taken--there's a huge amount that we don't know about the ocean and its ecosystems, and perhaps robotics will help us learn more.

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