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Giant whale sharks have teeth on their eyeballs

The ocean's largest shark relies on vision more than previously believed.

Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images
  • Japanese researchers discovered that the whale shark has "tiny teeth"—dermal denticles—protecting its eyes from abrasion.
  • They also found the shark is able to retract its eyeball into the eye socket.
  • Their research confirms that this giant fish relies on vision more than previously believed.
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The great white shark has surprising dining habits

Scientists are befuddled by where the shark gets most of its food.

Photo by Gerald Schömbs / Unsplash
  • A University of Sydney research team found that the great white shark spends an unexpectedly large amount of time feeding close to the sea bed.
  • The group examined the contents in the stomachs of 40 juvenile white sharks and found the remains of a variety of fish species that typically inhabit the sea floor or are buried in the sand.
  • The scientists hope that the information gained from this research will assist conservation and management efforts for the species.
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Chemists develop fast-degrading plastic for cleaner oceans

The researchers hope to develop a no-trace plastic to curtail marine pollution and ghost fishing.

(Photo: NOAA)
  • Cornell University chemists have developed a polymer with the strength of industrial-grade plastics but degrades quickly in sunlight.
  • They hope the plastic will one day be used to make fishing nets that leave no environmental trace.
  • Their research joins other programs and initiatives aimed at restoring our oceans.
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Atomic bomb tests help scientists finally date sharks

Nuclear weapons, whale sharks, and how to use both to make eco-tourism more sustainable.

SCOTT TUASON/AFP via Getty Images
  • Scientists have finally determined the age of whale sharks using radioactive elements from bomb tests.
  • Using the new data, the age range of the animals' bones has now been determined.
  • The findings will help conservationists better maintain whale shark populations.
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Eating fish may have given Neanderthals brainpower

A new finding suggests Neanderthals were far from the big dumb brutes we make them out to be.

Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
  • Scientists have found evidence that the Neanderthals were eating large amounts of fish long before modern humans got to Europe.
  • Previously, it was thought that only modern humans were fishing on a large scale.
  • The findings show that the Neanderthals were more like us than most people think.
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