Sharkpedia podcast

Shark Noses with Dr. Lauren Simonitis

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This week we join Kate McKinnon as Miss Frizzle on the Magic School Bus to explore shark noses up close!

Just kidding. But we do have shark-nose-specialist Dr. Lauren Simonitis! We break down her article Microstructure of the BonnetHead Shark (Sphyrna tiburo) Olfactory Rosette. (Simonitis & Marshall 2022). Learn all you could need to know about shark noses and more!

Summary: The weird shape of hammerhead sharks means that their naris or noses are also weirdly shaped. Previous research has shown that the flow of water in hammerhead noses has a complex structure that changes the pressure and therefore changes the velocity of water in the nose itself. Simonitis et al., aim to describe the microstructure of the olfactory rosette of the bonnethead shark , sphyrna tiburo, and investigate differences in the individual lamellae themselves within the rosette. Specifically they looked at the degree of secondary folding, percent sensory area, and the relative surface area of the lamellae. This is the first time the olfactory nerve layer has been visually tracked through a shark lamella. They found that olfactory lamellae in areas of the olfactory organ that experience faster water flow, have a larger percentage of sensory area and more secondary folds compared to those exposed to lower water velocities. Their findings imply that there may be less sensitive portions along the rosette. Future work should look at flow and sensitivity inside a shark's nose with this information in mind.

Follow Dr. Simonitis on Twitter and Instagram @OceanExplauren

Follow some of Dr. Simonitis' work on Twitter and Instagram @MISS_Elasmo

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