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Sharks

Drones

Shark-detecting drones to keep beachgoers safe

Drones are becoming quite a valuable tool in conservation efforts around the globe. We've seen them used to monitor killer whales, watch over parks in Africa and fend of illegal fisherman in Belize. Now researchers are using the technology to track shark behaviour along coastal waterways, a project that could not only teach us more about the animals and their environments, but one day protect beachgoers, too.Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People Feature

Eddie Paul: How to build a mechanical shark

By now, the scope and breadth of Eddie Paul's achievements as an inventor, automaker, stuntman and hollywood prop builder are just about legendary. He's packed more into one lifetime than most people could into 10. Among hundreds of other credits, he's one of the key guys that Discovery Channel goes to when it needs a mechanical stunt shark built for one of its numerous shark shows. But Paul's first mechanical shark was built more than 20 years ago, as part of a documentary by famed oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau. On an impossible timeline, with the vaguest of instructions, Paul built Alison, a 10-foot mechanical shark powered by compressed air. He then watched as she interacted successfully with a school of live great whites, who eventually attacked her and tore her to pieces. Here, in Paul's own words, is an insight into the process of conceiving, creating, testing and destroying one of his unique creations.Read More

Drones

Australia deploys shark-spotting drones to keep watch over beachgoers

With tens of thousands of miles of coastline and a recent spike in shark attacks, Australia is exploring some pretty imaginative approaches to ensuring the safety of its beachgoers. Magnetic barriers and shark-tracking phone apps are a few of the tech ideas that have been floated, and the state of New South Wales is now turning to drones to help do the job. It has launched a trial of unmanned shark-spotting aircraft, which will survey the coastline for predators lurking in shallow waters. Read More

Robotics

US Navy tests GhostSwimmer "roboshark"

Should you be swimming in the ocean sometime soon and spot a shark-like dorsal fin cutting through the water towards you, just relax – it might simply be a military robot, that's made to look like a shark. A US Navy team has recently been testing just such a device at its Joint Expeditionary Base East, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Known as the GhostSwimmer, the robot was developed by Boston Engineering as part of the Navy's Silent NEMO project, which is aimed at creating nature-inspired unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). Read More

Outdoors

SharkStopper is claimed to make you sound scary to sharks

As regular viewers of a certain TV channel will already know, the orca (or killer whale) is one of the only animals that kills sharks. It would follow, therefore, that sharks generally try to stay away from them. It was with this fact in mind that the SharkStopper Personal Shark Repellent (PSR) device was created. The ankle-worn gadget emulates orca vocalizations, and has reportedly been shown to repel various species of sharks. Read More

Marine

Clever Buoy uses sonar to raise the shark alarm

In many parts of the world, shark attacks are a very real possibility for anyone entering the ocean. While suspended nets do help keep the toothsome fish separated from swimmers, they're far from from 100 percent reliable, plus sharks (along with other marine animals) regularly get caught in them and perish – as sharks are one of the ocean's apex predators, removing them from the ecosystem could have disastrous consequences. The Clever Buoy, however, may prove to be an effective method of keeping humans and sharks apart, with no harm coming to either. Read More

Science

Sharks help scientists and themselves, by wearing cameras and swallowing sensors

Perhaps you've seen footage from National Geographic's "Crittercam," an underwater video camera that has been attached to animals such as sharks and whales. Well, scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the University of Tokyo have gone one better. Not only have they been putting cameras on sharks to see what they get up to, but they've also been slipping them ingestible sensors, to monitor their dietary habits. The data that they've gathered could help protect shark populations, and the overall health of the ocean. Read More

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