FIU scientists take part in the SharkFest
National Geographic’s SharkFest 2020 debuted on Sunday, July 19, with five shows starring FIU experts. This year, the FIU’s foremost shark experts are set to uncover some of the most complex secrets of shark behavior – from their really complicated relationship with dolphins to why they love hanging out near volcanoes and much more.
Dean Mike Heithaus, marine biologist and assistant professor Yannis Papastamatiou, marine ecologist and research specialist Kirk Gastrich and Heithaus Lab Ph.D. Student Frances Farabaugh.
SharkFest shows with the FIU Hai team are:
Sharks v. Dolphins: blood fight
Sunday, August 9th, 7pm on Nat Geo WILD
Sharks and dolphins have long shared the ocean. But that doesn’t mean they always share it well. Farabaugh and Gastrich travel to Shark Bay, Australia, where Heithaus led the most detailed study of the ecological role of sharks in the world to unravel the mysteries of the relationship between sharks and dolphins.
Wednesday, August 12th, 7pm on Nat Geo WILD
All over the world, sharks gather around volcanoes and volcanic islands. Heithaus will cruise the globe trying to solve the mystery of why sharks are so drawn to these hotspots.
50 Shades of Sharks
Sunday, August 9th, 10 p.m. on Nat Geo WILD
Sharks have long been considered the calculating and malevolent apex predators of the ocean, but new research provides a glimpse into some of their most intimate and rarely seen behaviors. Papastamatiou and others reveal facets of sharks that are rarely recorded. They are fragile, delicate, ingenious, cooperative, and even clumsy. This complete immersion in their private life shows them how to hunt, rest, clean, and reproduce. These revelations could forever change the way we look at sharks.
Angry bull shark
Thursday, August 13th, 7pm on Nat Geo WILD
As the world’s water warms, the bull shark’s territory expands. Bull sharks, known to be aggressive, aren’t afraid to compete with white or tiger sharks. A team of experts, including Heithaus, will investigate what makes this species such an impressive predator.
Bermuda Triangle Sharks
Thursday, August 13th, 6 p.m. on Nat Geo WILD
The Bermuda Triangle has more than 500,000 square kilometers of rumored mystery. In reality, its greatest miracle may be something far more incredible – sharks. Papastamatiou offers insights into tiger sharks, while marine biologist Austin Gallagher searches for the breeding grounds of tiger sharks in the mysterious hotspot.
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