Last week I had research article published in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology on the ability of sharks and their relatives to smell a groups of  odors, called bile salts.  These are odors thought to be used in chemical communication between individuals of the same species.  The reason for the study was that bony fishes (most of the fishes your picture in your head) smell bile salts with a certain type of receptor cell in their nose.  They are called ciliated  receptor cells.  Sharks and their relatives do not possess that receptor type in their nose, so it was unclear whether they could even smell bile salts.  I’ll save you a lot of reading…. they can! …Which is totally amazing!!  This means they use a completely new mechanism and cell type in their nose to detect these important odors.  Pretty cool….. at least to a shark nerd, like me.  You can find the article HERE.

 

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About Tricia

I am a science geek who loves traveling and anything to do with the ocean!

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