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The Role of Olfaction in Shark Predation

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Title:The Role of Olfaction in Shark Predation
Authors:Tester, Albert L.
Date Issued:Apr 1963
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Tester AL. 1963. The role of olfaction in shark predation. Pac Sci 17(2): 145-170.
Abstract:It is recognized that most if not all species
of sharks possess a keen sense of smell which is
used in detecting dead and wounded prey or
other edible material during their well-known
scavenging operations. The early experiments
of Parker (1910), Sheldon (1911), and Parker
and Sheldon (1913) established the role of the
paired nasal organs as olfactory receptors. Parker
(1914) demonstrated directional response in
the smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis) and provided
a plausible explanation of how this was
accomplished; he postulated that the two separated
nostrils have the ability to detect small
differences in the concentration of odorous materials
enabling the shark to orient in the direction
of equal stimulation and to head "upstream"
to the source. This tracking ability is
well recognized by skin divers and fishermen
who have involuntarily attracted sharks by retaining
speared fish or by discarding trash fish
and offal from their boats.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 17, Number 2, 1963

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