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Nostrils detect minute quantities of blood: great white shark


Great White / Terry Goss / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

The nostrils of great white sharks can detect minute quantities of blood due to highly sensitive nasal sacs.

"The first of a great white shark's senses to come into play when seeking prey is smell. The nasal sacs in a shark's nostrils can detect minute quantities of blood -- as low as 1 part in 1,000,000,000 -- seeping from an injured animal." (Shuker 2001:40)
About the inspiring organism
Med_white_shark Great white shark
Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common names: Man eater, Maneater, Man-eater, Man-eater shark, Mango-taniwha, Mango-ururoa, Shark, White death, White pointer, White shark

Habitat(s): Marine Neritic, Marine Oceanic
Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: FishBase
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_VU IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Odor management, medical device for hemophiliacs, after surgery sensors. Detecting underwater odors including gas leaks, chemical spills.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Biosensors, mining, utilities, health

Shuker, KPN. 2001. The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. 240 p.
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