HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Gulp! URI professor studies how sharks eat

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 24, 2001 -- If you were able to keep your eyes open during the feeding frenzy of Jaws, you have a visual introduction to the work of the University of Rhode Islands Cheryl Wilga, an assistant professor in the Biological Sciences Department. Wilga, a North Kingstown resident, studies how sharks use their upper jaw when feeding. "Its a mechanism that wasnt known when the movie was made," says the biologist who has always been fascinated by the way things work. In biology lingo, thats called functional morphology.

According to Wilga, a petite Alaskan Indian who came to URI last year following a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, the shark lifts its head, depresses its lower jaw, its upper jaw comes out, it bites, and then the upper jaw retracts under the head. Unlike humans, the sharks upper jaw isnt fused to its cranium.

To discover exactly how sharks eat, Wilga videotapes small spotted bamboo sharks while they munch on lunch in her lab. The high-speed film produces 500 images every second. Wilga then downloads the video into a computer and slows down the action to see exactly what the shark is doing and how it is doing it.

Wilga takes measurements of the angle of the sharks fins, how wide it opens its mouth, and how fast it captures its prey. She also monitors up to 12 muscles with electrodes as thin as a piece of hair to determine which muscles are used, a process called electromyography.

Wilga also researches how sharks swim. "The old theory was that sharks swim like airplanes fly," says the researcher, who notes that textbooks still state this. The old theory is that as wings of an airplane provide lift, the sharks pectoral fins also provide lift. Using fluid dynamics and lasers a technique called digital particle image velocimetry or DPIV, which measures the forces the fish places on the water, Wilga was able to see the water moving around the shark and to see that sharks swim at a
'"/>

Contact: Jan Sawyer
sawyer@advance.uri.edu
401-874-2116
University of Rhode Island
23-May-2001


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. NJIT professor receives Presidential Award for breakthrough research with adult stem cells
2. Virginia Tech professor honored with DeLaval Award
3. New and better drugs for tuberculosis goal of UH professor
4. UCSB professor and director receives two national awards
5. K-State professor combines love of teaching, research to examine eye development
6. LSU vet school professor uses gene therapy to destroy cancerous tumors
7. COPD is forgotten killer, says University of Toronto professor
8. Yale professor receives Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving award
9. UC Riverside professor to spend year with US State Department
10. UGA professor Jeffrey Bennetzen named to National Academy of Sciences
11. Four IU professors are 2004 Guggenheim Fellows

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/14/2017)... (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups ... collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built with ... France is one of the ... percent increase in the number of startups created between 2012 ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and interpret datasets, ... Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of the double-helix ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most ... you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and ... unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading ... a nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will ... need for communication among health care professionals to enhance the ... nurses, office staff, and other health care professionals to help ... breast cancer. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) ... and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: