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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: A Shark's Nasal Radar
10 June 2010 1:46 pm
Even in a churning, turbulent ocean, sharks can sniff out the faint scent of prey from several kilometers away. How they do it has been a mystery. Now, a new study published online today in Current Biology suggests a strikingly simple answer: Sharks compare which nostril receives a scent molecule first and then turn in that direction. Researchers fitted the smooth dogfish shark, Mustelus canis, with a headpiece that can dispense squid odor to either nostril at set delays. The researchers found that when they sprayed the odor into the sharks' nostrils at slightly different times, the sharks turned in the direction of the earlier spritz, which keeps the shark pointed toward the odor's trail. The finding could explain the hammerhead's odd head shape, as wider-set nostrils could help better triangulate prey.
See more ScienceShots.