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Showing posts from June, 2010

Mystery of how sharks smell blood a quarter mile away 'solved'

Scientists claim to have finally solved the mystery of how sharks can smell a drop of blood in the ocean a quarter of a mile away.

A team at Florida University has found that sharks' noses use "smell stereo" to detect tiny delays —— no more than half a second long —— in the time that odours take to reach one nostril compared to the other.

And, according to the scientists, when the hunters experience such a lag, they will turn towards whichever side picked up the scent first, the Daily Mailreported.

The scientists have based their findings on laboratory tests on eight smooth dogfish and one small grey—brown shark.

They fitted headgear consisting of two tubes to the sharks in a 50 litre tank of seawater and then delivered bursts of marinated squid to each nostril in turn, and found that the fish rely on a combination of directional cues, based on scent and the flow of water, to keep themselves orientated and find what they are looking for.

If the delay between the scent re…