Researchers study sharks' sense of smell, vision

Study on adaptation

SARASOTA, Fla. - What happens when you plug a shark's nose? Will it still be a lethal killer without its legendary sense of smell?

The answer, surprisingly, is yes -- at least in some shark species.

In a study released Wednesday, researchers used eye coverings to block sight, nose plugs to block smell, and insulating materials to cover the electrosensory pores on the sharks' snouts. The scientists took high-speed video of the impaired sharks and found that some can still find their prey, even without smelling it.

Researchers from the University of South Florida, Mote Marina Laboratory in Sarasota and Boston University worked on the study.

Scientists say the information will help researchers figure out how pollution affects sharks and whether the fish can adapt to changing environments.

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