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Electroreception in juvenile sandbar sharks

      My research examines the electrosensory capabilities of juvenile sandbar sharks. More specifically, I'm interested in determining the range of electric field stimuli that sharks can detect. To test this, I use behavioral experiments that allow the sharks to demonstrate their sensory capabilities (see images below). The bioassay quantifies how often sharks bite at an experimentally manipulated electric field. Sharks respond to these fields because they have evolved a close-range sensory system to detect very weak electric fields generated by their natural prey. 

Our experimental setup for presenting weak electric fields to juvenile sandbar sharks

Sharks biting at electric field targets during an experiment

      In my experiments, captive sharks are exposed to electric fields of various size, frequency and intensity. The biting responses of the sharks are videotaped for analysis and quantification. Several interesting results have been obtained to date, and will be posted here once they are further analyzed.

Other HIMB Shark Electroreception Resources:

1) How I capture sharks for electroreception experiments

2) Video clips of electroreception experiments


This site was created by Timothy Fitzgerald and is maintained by Nick Whitney
Last updated October 28, 2004 04:23 PM HST