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On hammerhead sharks and their oddly located eyes (Science!)

DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited January 2010 in Singularity Engine++
So there's been plenty of speculation about the purpose the oddly shaped heads of hammerheads serve since they were discovered, but it's all pretty much just been conjecture. Various hypotheses have been proposed from the broad head providing additional lift during swimming, perhaps improving their sense of smell, to perhaps improving their field of vision with much disagreement about who's right.

Well there's finally some solid science on the matter and the results are pretty damn cool. There is now proof that hammerhead sharks have substantially better binocular vision (wider binocular field) than other sharks.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127101034.htm
The team tested the field of view in each shark's eyes by sweeping a weak light in horizontal and vertical arcs around each eye and recorded the eye's electrical activity. Comparing the hammerheads with pointy nosed species, the team found that the scalloped hammerheads had the largest monocular visual field, at an amazing 182 deg., and the bonnethead had a 176 deg. visual field, which was bigger than that of the pointy nosed blacknose and lemon sharks, at 172 deg. and 159 deg., respectively.

But there's more!
Finally, the team factored in the sharks' eye and head movements and found that the forward binocular overlaps rocketed to an impressive 69 deg. for the scalloped hammerheads and 52 deg. for the bonnetheads. Even more surprisingly, the team realised that the bonnethead and scalloped hammerheads have an excellent stereo rear-view: they have a full 360 deg. view of the world.

Of course I'm not suggesting that this is the end of the matter. It's entirely possible there are other significant benefits of the shape of their heads, but it's nice to have some solid facts on the matter.

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Druhim on
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Posts

  • MugginsMuggins Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    SCIENCE

    Muggins on
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    hey satan...: thinkgeek amazon My post |
  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius It has been a doozy of a dayRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Hammerhead sharks, always watching you.

    A Dabble Of Thelonius on
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  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    they have fucking stereoscopic rear vision

    that is fucking awesome!

    Druhim on
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  • PharezonPharezon Struggle is an illusion. Victory is in the Qun.Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The world will end when they ally with the dolphins and keas.

    Pharezon on
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  • DichotomyDichotomy Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I'm curious

    is it possible to seriously use the phrase "Big Pharma" without being a wacky conspiracy theorist

    Dichotomy on
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  • UmaroUmaro Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    You don't have to be a "wacky conspiracy theorist" to distrust the pharmacutical industry.

    Umaro on
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  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius It has been a doozy of a dayRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Possibly while discussing the works of little known Iowa based rapper Trevor "Big Pharma" Smithington.

    A Dabble Of Thelonius on
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    Steam - Talon Valdez :Blizz - Talonious#1860 : Xbox Live & LoL - Talonious Monk @TaloniousMonk Hail Satan
  • STATE OF THE ART ROBOTSTATE OF THE ART ROBOT Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    So tempted to link a metal song about sharks.

    STATE OF THE ART ROBOT on
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    hammerhead sharks are even more badass than I originally thought

    Usagi on
  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    when i was little i thought that they actually hit stuff with their head!

    also, that they were shaped that way so that they could make a wake to travel through, and go faster and expend less energy!

    Metzger Meister on
  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Hammerhead sharks make good hands.

    Butters on
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  • Fire TruckFire Truck I love my SELFRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    An uncle of mine was apparently talking about how he wasn't getting a vaccine because of dystonia girl while I was passed out at Thanksgiving. My parents tore him a new one.

    I'm very proud.

    Fire Truck on
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    when i was little i thought that they actually hit stuff with their head!

    also, that they were shaped that way so that they could make a wake to travel through, and go faster and expend less energy!

    No, it's the SR-71 that makes an air-pressure wave and then surfs down it.

    chrishallett83 on
  • Lost SalientLost Salient blink twice if you'd like me to mercy kill youRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    My best buddy has had a stuffed hammerhead shark for maybe eight years or so now, and when you squeeze it, in this wonderful macho voice it will say things like, "I make no sound," or "My skeleton is made entirely out of cartilege."

    Now I wish it also said, "I have stereoscopic rear vision.... bitches."

    Lost Salient on
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    "Sandra has a good solid anti-murderer vibe. My skin felt very secure and sufficiently attached to my body when I met her. Also my organs." HAIL SATAN
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Find out who makes that and if they make other animals.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • zoom. zip. smash.zoom. zip. smash. Registered User
    edited November 2009
    Seriously, find out where that came from. I know a girl who would literally pee in her pants in public to have one of those.

    It's totally not me.

    zoom. zip. smash. on
  • BusterKBusterK Negativity is Boring Cynicism is Cowardice Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    when i was little i thought that they actually hit stuff with their head!

    also, that they were shaped that way so that they could make a wake to travel through, and go faster and expend less energy!

    Don't they stun fish with it?

    BusterK on
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  • AMP'dAMP'd Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Oh sweet, new science thread

    AMP'd on
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  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    BusterK wrote: »
    when i was little i thought that they actually hit stuff with their head!

    also, that they were shaped that way so that they could make a wake to travel through, and go faster and expend less energy!

    Don't they stun fish with it?

    I haven't seen any evidence of this. Not saying it's not possible, just that I'm not aware of any evidence for it.

    Druhim on
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  • DichotomyDichotomy Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    on the note of science

    for one of my classes I took a brief trip to the Royal Ontario Museum

    fuckin' love museums. I'm ashamed to say that I've only ever gone as part of school trips and I really want to just go and spend a whole day running around in there but all my friends are fucking losers who don't think that dinosaur skeletons and ancient megafauna and suchlike are interesting

    Dichotomy on
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  • zoom. zip. smash.zoom. zip. smash. Registered User
    edited November 2009
    You need new friends for real and quickly.

    zoom. zip. smash. on
  • AMP'dAMP'd Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Dichotomy, I will visit the museum with you

    Just fly me up to Canada on your dime

    AMP'd on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    you know what are pretty rad animals, in terms of evolutionary science?

    mantis shrimp

    mantis shrimp are bad-asses

    Pony on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    mantis shrimp are fucking amazing

    DarkPrimus on
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  • AMP'dAMP'd Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Mantis shrimp and pistol shrimp are proof that nature is out to get us

    AMP'd on
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  • General NemoGeneral Nemo The Mighty Shame Church for DogsRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    AMP'd wrote: »
    Mantis shrimp and pistol shrimp are proof that nature is out to get us

    Pistol Shrimp is proof that if there is a God, he is effing metal as shit.

    General Nemo on
  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    apparently mantis shrimp is pretty tasty.

    Metzger Meister on
  • Spectre-xSpectre-x Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Pony wrote: »
    you know what are pretty rad animals, in terms of evolutionary science?

    mantis shrimp

    mantis shrimp are bad-asses

    They have the best eyesight in the world, don't they? Some ridiculously wide spectrum and insane definition, right?

    Spectre-x on
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  • Lost SalientLost Salient blink twice if you'd like me to mercy kill youRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Find out who makes that and if they make other animals.

    Well there's good news for you and zoom-zip-smash, and there's bad news.

    Finding the item was relatively simple:

    It was a Sea World Marine Mate.

    The bad news is... they don't seem to make any of the nine available animals any more. At least I can't find any evidence of them for sale.

    Lost Salient on
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    "Sandra has a good solid anti-murderer vibe. My skin felt very secure and sufficiently attached to my body when I met her. Also my organs." HAIL SATAN
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    "the quantum scientist suggests the observer using his mind/heart EFFECTS the observation"

    ...
    There are not enough ellipses in the world

    L|ama on
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Yes there are - here, have some... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

    chrishallett83 on
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    no that doesn't even start to approach how many would be needed

    if we arranged every atom in the universe as ellipses, that would be nearly one percent of the required amount

    L|ama on
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I think you need to talk to someone about your ellipses addiction.

    chrishallett83 on
  • Caulk Bite 6Caulk Bite 6 One of the multitude of Dans infesting this place Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Dichotomy wrote: »
    on the note of science

    for one of my classes I took a brief trip to the Royal Ontario Museum

    fuckin' love museums. I'm ashamed to say that I've only ever gone as part of school trips and I really want to just go and spend a whole day running around in there but all my friends are fucking losers who don't think that dinosaur skeletons and ancient megafauna and suchlike are interesting

    I'm sorry you had to see the horrific crystalline growth that it's acquired on the outer wall. the rest of it is pretty awesome though.

    Caulk Bite 6 on
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  • Waka LakaWaka Laka Riding the stuffed Unicorn If ya know what I mean.Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Hammerhead sharks are cool I guess

    Almost as cool as Macropinna microstoma

    transparent-head-fish.jpg

    Waka Laka on
  • MaceraMacera Registered User
    edited November 2009
    Spectre-x wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    you know what are pretty rad animals, in terms of evolutionary science?

    mantis shrimp

    mantis shrimp are bad-asses

    They have the best eyesight in the world, don't they? Some ridiculously wide spectrum and insane definition, right?
    Wikipedia wrote:
    Some species have at least 16 different photoreceptor types, which are divided into four classes (their spectral sensitivity is further tuned by colour filters in the retinas), 12 of them for colour analysis in the different wavelengths (including four which are sensitive to ultraviolet light) and four of them for analysing polarised light. By comparison, humans have only four visual pigments, three dedicated to see colour. The visual information leaving the retina seems to be processed into numerous parallel data streams leading into the central nervous system, greatly reducing the analytical requirements at higher levels.

    At least two species have been reported to be able to detect circular polarized light[13][14] and in some cases their biological quarter-wave plates perform more uniformly over the entire visual spectrum than any current man-made polarizing optics [15][16]. The species Gonodactylus smithii is the first - and only - organism known to simultaneously detect the four linear, and two circular, polarization components required for Stokes parameters, which yield a full description of polarization. It is thus believed to have optimal polarization vision [14][17][18][19].

    They can basically see into forever.

    Macera on
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  • FoodFood Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I don't really get that quantum observation thingy at all. I used to think it was just because any method you use to observe electrons is going to disrupt their movement in some way, but now I learn it's just magic. It pisses me off.

    Food on
  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    Spectre-x wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    you know what are pretty rad animals, in terms of evolutionary science?

    mantis shrimp

    mantis shrimp are bad-asses

    They have the best eyesight in the world, don't they? Some ridiculously wide spectrum and insane definition, right?

    best doesn't really apply
    mantis shrimp vision wouldn't be particularly useful for humans, but it is unusual and very interesting
    they have very good polarized vision and can see a broad range of wavelengths as well, from ultraviolet to infrared
    but that doesn't make their vision best

    different creatures have different eyes that are suited to their lifestyle
    that's why vision varies so broadly, because there's not a one-size-fits-all solution that works optimally for all animals

    Druhim on
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  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    Food wrote: »
    I don't really get that quantum observation thingy at all. I used to think it was just because any method you use to observe electrons is going to disrupt their movement in some way, but now I learn it's just magic. It pisses me off.

    no, it's not magic
    we just don't understand why it happens that way yet

    Druhim on
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  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Weaver on
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This discussion has been closed.