Rising Ocean Acidity Weakens Hunting Ability in Sharks

Sharks, the ocean’s top predators, renowned for their impressive hunting abilities, rely extensively on their keen sense of smell to hunt prey located miles away—earning themselves the label “swimming noses.” But a new study reveals that high levels of seawater acidity expected due to climate change can diminish their ability to track prey through sensing of odors.

The smooth dogfish, a shark whose range includes the Atlantic Ocean off the eastern United States, could lose their ability to sense the smell of food if climate change if ocean acidification continues its current pace.  Credit: Danielle Dixson/Georgia Tech

The smooth dogfish, a shark whose range includes the Atlantic Ocean off the eastern United States, could lose their ability to sense the smell of food due to ocean acidification if climate change continues at its current pace.
Credit: Danielle Dixson/Georgia Tech

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Sharks Help Resurrect Corals

Coral reefs usually conjure up images of pristine atolls teeming with colorful fishes and a vibrant community of organisms, including sharks, living in harmony with each other. For this reason, they are often, aptly referred to as “rainforests of the sea”, and although they comprise less than one percent of the ocean, they are home to a quarter of all marine species.

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