Lemon Sharks and Dogfish - Hyperbaric Sensitivity ??
source : Lauren Smith Jan Savill
Sharks could be used to predict the weather as research by a marine biology student claims, it has emerged.
Lauren Smith, 24, is close to completing her PhD studies into the pressure sensing abilities of sharks.
If her studies prove the theory, scientists in future could monitor the behaviour of sharks to anticipate severe weather fronts.
Her research took her to the Bahamas and was carried out in the wild on lemon sharks.
Miss Smith, originally from West Bromwich, used their near relations, the lesser spotted dogfish, for further research at Aberdeen University's altitude chamber at the National Hyperbaric Centre in Aberdeen.
It is thought her work is the first of its kind to attempt to test the pressure theory.
It was prompted by an earlier shark habitat study in Florida, which coincided with the arrival of Hurricane Gabrielle in 2001, when observations suggested that juvenile blacktip sharks moved into deeper water in association with the approaching storm.
Miss Smith said: "I've always been keen on travelling and diving and this led me to an interest in sharks.
"I was delighted to have been able to explore this area for my PhD, particularly as it's the first time it's really been explored fully.
"How many other students get the chance to put a shark in a chamber to study its behaviour?"