Thursday, 7 January 2016

'Kidnapped' Sharks Use Their Noses to Navigate Back to Shore

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | January 06, 2016 03:00pm ET

Sharks may use their keen sense of smell to navigate the vast ocean, a new study finds.

Researchers made the finding after catching leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata), transporting them about 6 miles (9 kilometers) away from shore and stuffing some of the sharks' noses with Vaseline-soaked cotton. The scientists then released the sharks and tracked whether those with an impaired sense of smell had trouble finding their way back to shore.

The result? The sharks with nose plugs appeared lost, while those without stuffed noses were able to orient themselves to be homeward bound.

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