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Study Suggests Sharks are Color-Blind

 
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Kenya



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject: Study Suggests Sharks are Color-Blind Reply with quote

I found this article rather interesting and decided to share it.^^ I personally never really thought much about sharks and their ability to see color, but it's neat how studies suggest they are color blind
Quote:
Sharks may be able to smell blood from miles away, but they probably don't know how red it is: New research suggests sharks are color-blind.

Sharks have successfully prowled the oceans for millions of years, in part because of an impressive suite of sensory systems, including well-developed eyes and a large area in the brain devoted to vision.

But over the past few decades conflicting data have sparked a debate about whether sharks can see colors.

In a new study, scientists looked at the retinas of 17 shark species caught off the coasts of eastern and western Australia, including tiger sharks and bull sharks.

Retinas use two main types of light-sensitive cells to allow animals to see: Rod cells help measure brightness, while various types of cone cells help distinguish colors.

A technique known as microspectrophotometry had previously shown that rays and chimaeras, both close relatives of sharks, have color vision.

Using the same method, Nathan Scott Hart at the University of Western Australia and colleagues scanned shark retinas for pigments linked with rod and cone cells.

Rod cells were the most common types of photoreceptor found in all 17 shark species, which means the predators should be able to see within a wide range of light levels.

But no cone cells were observed in 10 of the 17 species, while only one type of cone cell appeared to be present in the other 7. This suggests that these sharks cannot tell different colors apart.

"We can't say hands down if sharks are color-blind yet, as there are over 400 different shark species," said shark biologist Michelle McComb at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

"But these findings are excellent, and a surprise, and definitely should spur more work," said McComb, who did not take part in the new study.

Color-Blindness to Save Rare Sharks?
It makes sense that sharks might be color-blind, the study team noted. Many aquatic predators—such as whales, dolphins, and seals—also appear to be color-blind, which may be because color vision isn't much use in their mostly blue-green environments.

If the discovery holds true for more shark species, it could be used to help reduce the numbers of endangered sharks accidentally caught by fisheries, as well as prevent shark attacks on humans.

"Our study shows that contrast against the background, rather than color per se, may be more important for object detection by sharks," study co-author Hart said in a statement.

"This may help us to design longline fishing lures that are less attractive to sharks, as well as to design swimming attire and surf craft that have a lower visual contrast to sharks and therefore are less attractive to them."

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/01/110119-sharks-color-blind-eyes-rods-cones-australia-animals-science/
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Alexander



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh, I've always heard they had better vision than we did.
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Quagga



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hinga Dinga Durgen wrote:
Huh, I've always heard they had better vision than we did.

Being color blind shouldn't have too much affect on how good your vision is - other than having trouble discerning one item from another due to contrast -, but it's also particularly helpful when you have an excellent sense of smell.. :D
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SilentEcho



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh. That's pretty cool :3
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Døøm Dragøn



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So this is were are tax dollars are going to. This helps humanity how? Nah, I'm just messing with you guys...that's awesomish...wouldn't it be weird if they could only see the color red?
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SilentEcho



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They'd think they were swimming in salty smelling blood.
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Lysander



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you were to only see red this is what you'd see



I had lots of fun drawing this
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Døøm Dragøn



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly Skeer... ^.^
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Kenya



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skeer, please try to stay on topic. You can share art elsewhere, thanks!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skeer-Ah wrote:
If you were to only see red this is what you'd see



I had lots of fun drawing this


I meant, if everything they saw was red, not like normal, only red seeing things >.>
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Lysander



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SilentEcho wrote:
Skeer-Ah wrote:
If you were to only see red this is what you'd see



I had lots of fun drawing this


I meant, if everything they saw was red, not like normal, only red seeing things >.>


Oh then make that drawing a red scale, take a picture, turn it redscale, to see Red vison, i wonder what being a shark is like though, Meat all day i guess, yum?
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Kenya



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kenya wrote:
Please try to stay on topic. You can share art elsewhere, thanks!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharks are one of my favorite animals :U

'Tis be awesome.
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Alrai



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if this new information will greatly help the design of 'longline fishing lures' and 'swimming attire and surf craft'.. ect. I doubt that learning something new like this could bring any harm, though. Interesting.
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