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Catching a Scent T is great white relies heavily on his sense of smell. He can smell a single drop of blood from an injured animal in 10 billion drops of water. His nostrils are on the underside of his snout and lead to an organ called the olfactory bulb. T e great white’s olfactory bulb is reported to be the largest of any shark. As he swims along, he moves his head from

side to side. A steady stream of water fl ows in and out of his nostrils. A faint smell enters one nostril. He turns his head to face the current of water that’s carrying the smell. It smells like seal blood. He starts to swim a slow, zigzag course. He samples the water first with one nostril, then with the other. He’s trying to figure out in what direction the scent is the strongest.

Cruising Along Having picked up the scent, he plots his course in that direction. His muscular and streamlined body is shaped like a torpedo. It slices through the water. T e great white’s skeleton bends and fl exes

as he moves. T at’s because it isn’t made of rigid bone. It’s made of cartilage. It’s the same fl exible stuff that’s found in human noses. He swims eff ortlessly by swinging his back

fin, or tail, from side to side. It has two parts, called lobes. On a great white shark, the lobes are roughly the same size. T is helps him keep his balance. It also reduces friction as he swims. And that gives him speed. When closing in on a meal, he can barrel through the water at 24 kilometers per hour. For now, his prey is too far away. So, he cruises along at 3 kilometers per hour.


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