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Why Animals Swim in Circles

Have you ever watched marine animals videos and noticed how they seem to swim round and round in circles?

There’s definitely something mesmerizing about this, and it seems that most sea animals exhibit this behaviour. So, surely there’s a reason why they do this.

There are many reasons why marine animal might start circling the ocean. Let’s got through some of them.

1. To navigate through the ocean.


Turtles often swim in circles to detect the Earth’s magnetic field inside the ocean and get to their destination. One turtle was recorded to have circled 76 times in one go! Animals can gain directional cues by interpreting the magnetic field by swimming in constant circles.

2. To stalk prey


Probably most associated with sharks, marine animals may swim in circles to catch prey. Some sharks swim in a circle up to 30 times within their feeding period to forage for food. Research shows that animals appear to circle more during the day than at night. This makes sense for animals who hunt during the day, so they have more chance of finding food.

3. To court


Male marine animals often circle a female as part of their courting behaviour. This has been studied a lot in sharks.

There is still much research needed to confirm exactly why animals swim round in circles, but these three reasons seem very believable!

How Animals Walk on Water

How Animals Walk on Water

Now, let’s talk about why some animals can walk on water. This is a crazy phenomenon that is seen in 1200 water animals.

Gliders include insects that scamper across the surface of the water. They can do this because they are so small and have a light enough weight to support their whole body using the surface tension of the water. Surface tension involves the forces that hold water molecules together.

Gliders also have water-repellent feet. There are many hairs that trap air around the legs and feet, keeping the animal above water.

There are also slappers, which are the larger animals we see walking on water like dolphins and some lizards. Surface tension forces are not strong enough to support the heavier weight of these animals, so instead, they use speed and momentum to keep themselves above the water. They can generate enough force to lift themselves above the surface as they move, making it appear like they are walking on water.

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Thanks for reading.


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