A unique cosmetic procedure. Tuna uses sharks as a scrub

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A unique beauty treatment. Tuna uses sharks as a scrub

The way different animals interact could have a huge impact on the future of the ocean.

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A new study in PLOS One indicates that open ocean fish such as tuna are using sharks for interesting purposes. They rub against them, using them as a scrub.

Such actions are likely to remove parasites, exfoliate dead skin or other irritants. This species hosts a diverse array of parasites, but the environment has provided little opportunity for their removal, writes Science Alert.

During the study, interactions were recorded in 3 oceans: Indian, Pacific and Atlantic. We found out that the fish preferred to scratch on the sharks. Their size also played a role. In particular, smaller fish were less likely to be scrubbed, possibly due to the risk of becoming prey. All species scratch the head and sides more. These areas were more affected by parasites: eyes, gills, nostrils, etc.

The conclusion was made after analyzing thousands of hours of video from underwater cameras. The data collected was required to determine population trends. But when viewing, they saw a tuna that was approaching the tail of a silky shark and remained there for a while. Uniformly, they were able to identify the same interactions in other fish species.

Scientists also say that such interactions in the ocean are extremely important. So far, there are few direct observations of animal behavior. But such interactions are very useful. Healthier animals reproduce more often and pass on their genes to the next generation. So it may be in this case.

At the same time, researchers are sounding the alarm because of the decline in shark populations. Their disappearance will do a lot of harm to the fish, which will not be able to find new posts. This may have a knockdown effect. However, these observations were made in regions with relatively healthy populations.

Scientists plan to study the behavior of animals in remote ocean ecosystems. They also believe that this work will help to identify other types of participants in this interaction. Do not rule out other intriguing behaviors with saving consequences.