Commentary on emotion in sharks

In: Behaviour
Ila F. Porcher , Independent Researcher, 15161 Cedar Boulevard, Hope, BC, Canada V0X 1L5

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While studying the behaviour of a community of blackfin reef sharks, there was a four month long episode during which the entire company of residents and their visitors showed evidence of feeling a negative emotion towards me. They directed a variety of menacing gestures towards me, and their behaviour escalated until they began battering my kayak on my arrival in their range. Underwater, three would have slammed me personally had I not fought them off. Their behaviour suggested that their cognitive functions are complex, for they held their negative attitude in mind long-term. Two years later, under different conditions, they conveyed, via body language, a positive emotion. Social learning, social buffering, and emotional contagion were also displayed in their actions.

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