Shark Repellent? Could Be Created Using Similarities Between Shark and Human Brains

Written by on October 31, 2012 in Marine Life, Technology
Great White Shark

Great White Shark: Photo credit: pterantula via photo pin cc

New research from the University of Western Australia (UWA) shows that shark brains are surprisingly similar to human brains.  This discovery may help scientists create an effective shark repellent.

The research is published in several papers, all focusing on comparative and evolutionary research about the brains of sharks and their cartilaginous relatives, like rays and sawfish.

“The studies cover several areas of recent research and suggest that people may have more in common with sharks than we thought,” explained Dr. Kara Yopak from UWA’s Oceans Institute and the School of Animal Biology.

“One of the papers shows that with great white sharks, the area of the brain that receives visual input is quite large, and suggests the relative importance of vision in these animals is quite high,” said Dr. Yopak.

“This information may direct researchers’ efforts towards targeting the visual system when developing repellents for sharks.”


Sawfish. Photo credit: Matthew McDavitt, NMFS/NOAA.

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Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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