A Slow Eater

We should always eat slowly, chew our food well and then, hopefully, we won’t overeat, or so the story goes. But in recent times the Slow Food movement has been gaining ground – slowly.

It would seem that the two activities should go well together slowly cooked, tasty food should be eaten slowly so that it can be savored fully. Nature however, (red in tooth and claw, of course) doesn’t normally work slowly when it comes to lunch.

When you get cold, you slow down and that seems to be particularly true of the Greenland Shark which Watanabe et al have clocked swimming around at ¾ mph (1,2). This would seem to leave this species of shark with a bit of a problem as it likes to lunch on seals.

With seals swimming around at 2¼ mph, things don’t look promising for the sharks, as even flat out, they are only able to reach 1½ mph. But nature has her ways and the seal have a weakness for naps.

Sleeping underwater would seem to be an extreme sport, but with sharks swimming around propelled by tails that take 7 seconds to sweep from one side to the other, it is even more dangerous. So these slow swimming sharks glide gently up to a snoozing seal to become a slow eater.

It’s not just a quick snap of the jaws that occurs. The BBC report indicates that a deal of sucking goes on to bring the seal in (2), rather like that tail end of pasta that is trying to escape as you dig into your pasta and meat balls.

I guess we can conclude that to be a slow eater, you have to be a sucker too.

  1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022098112001657
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/18531924

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