June 2010

Sharks sniff out their prey using the timing of scents, not concentration.

Sharks smell in stereo

It turns out that sharks can detect small delays, no more than half a second long, in the time that odours reach one nostril versus the other. When the animals experience such a lag, they will turn toward whichever side picked up the scent first.

To follow the scent trail left by their prey across the ocean, sharks swim in the direction of the nostril that sniffed the odour first, scientists have found.

While the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in sharks and other fish does not necessarily harm them the findings point to a growing problem for human health.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in sharks

A team of researchers led by Jason Blackburn of the University of Florida sampled and tested 134 fish living in coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Belize, and Massachusetts for signs of drug-resistant bacteria, using a suite of twelve common antibiotics. Resistance was found everywhere they looked, to varying degrees. Pronounced resistance to an array of drugs was found in sharks in Dry Tortugas National Park in the Florida Keys, for example.

Curtiss SB2C Helldiver operating off USS Hancock, Feb 1945

World War II Navy dive bomber to be raised from San Diego reservoir

The Helldiver had taken off from an aircraft carrier and was on a training run when its engine failed and the pilot ditched on May 28, 1945. The pilot and gunner swam to shore, and the Navy decided to leave the bomber at the bottom of the lake.

It was forgotten until March 2009, when a bass fisherman using an electronic fish finder spotted its outline in 85 feet of water.

Divers with Chicago-based salvage firm A&T Recovery examined the plane last year and will have to dredge silt from around the aircraft to see whether it can be recovered.