Shark brains will unlock effective human shield

October 30, 2012 | Environment
Great white shark: brainiac

Shark brains hold the key to the perfect repellent for the killer great white species. The solution can be as simple as marking patterns on surfboards and wetsuits.

Researchers from the University of Western Australia believe that shark brains share several features with human brains. The creation of effective anti-shark devices may be developed when the complete studies are finished.

"Great white sharks have quite large parts of the brain associated with their visual input, with implications for them being much more receptive to repellents targeting visual markers", explains Kara Yopak.

The Australian authorities are funding research in the anti-shark repellent field. The University of Western Australia has dissected brains of more than 150 species, in order to understand how the predator reacts and attacks.

"A shark may recognise a poisonous sea-snake's markings and swim away, for example, and we can use this information to cue a response," the researcher added. "It's about understanding how their neurobiology affects their behaviour".

Sharks are common in Australia. Deadly attacks have been rare, but in the last 10 months there were five fatalities.

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