London, June 22 (ANI): In a new research, scientists have found that the way Great white sharks hunt their preys is quite similar to the methods used by serial killers to stalk their victims.
According to a report in The Times, using methods pioneered by criminologists, researchers have discovered that the world's largest predatory fish targets prey in a highly focused way linked to the areas it knows best.
The scientists adapted geographic profiling, a mathematical technique used to track down serial killers and rapists, to investigate the hunting habits of great whites.
They observed the location of 340 shark attacks and used that data to locate the sharks' "anchor points".
In criminal investigations, a series of linked crimes, usually murder, rape or arson, is used to determine the rough location of the perpetrator's anchor point.
Most often this is a home or place of work.
Serial killers or rapists tend to operate within a confined area around their anchor point.
Detectives identify that base to avoid being swamped with suspects and prioritize those who live or work in certain areas.
The connection between sharks and serial killers was established by scientists, who linked the great whites' attacks on seals - their "crimes" - off the South African coast and found that the creatures had a well-defined search base.
Their "anchor point" tended to be 100 meters seaward of where the seals got on to and left the island where they lived.
The research was led by Neil Hammerschlag, from the University of Miami in the US. Geographic profiling was developed by Kim Rossmo, a former Canadian beat policeman.
According to Steven Le Comber, an expert on geographic profiling at the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London, "Shark hunting patterns are extremely difficult to study and the work here will have important implications for our understanding of the ways in which predators hunt their prey." (ANI)