From a badger with attitude to a straight-talking squirrel, it seems everyone is on Twitter these days. But the latest animal additions to join the Twitter ranks are taking things a little more seriously. You won't find Australia's sharks sharing selfies or taking a stab at James Blunt's latest album release. Instead they will be telling you where they are … so you can avoid them.

In an innovative use of the microblogging platform, scientists in Western Australia have equipped over 300 sharks with acoustic tags and transmitters that are designed to automatically update the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter feed (@SLSWA) when the animals come within about a kilometre of the beach. The tweets also contain information about the shark species and size.


Okay, to be fair, these aren't the first sharks to take to social media, but they have received impressive media coverage, and it's not too surprising. Not only does the news make for catchy headlines, but this instant information could help save lives. It certainly seems like a much better idea than the controversial culling policy that was launched following recent attacks off the coast of Western Australia.

Tiger Shark Earth Touch

Despite Australia's growing reputation as the shark attack capital of the world, the animals still present a relatively tiny threat to humans with only six fatalities in the country over the last two years. Estimates suggest that humans kill as many as 100 million of these predators every year ... perhaps we should be the ones tweeting warnings.