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New Study Finds Shark Attacks Are Likely Cases of Mistaken Identity

A new study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, revealed that juvenile great white Shark responsible for most of the reported great white attacks on humans have bad eyesight and struggle with telling a human from other animals or objects.

According to Australian researchers, Shark are either completely color blind or have a limited color perception, causing them to rely on motion and brightness while searching for prey because their spatial resolving power is considerably worse than humans.

The study used video footage to analyze great white Shark‘ perception and ability to differentiate objects underwater like rectangular floats, humans swimming, humans paddling surfboards, and pinnipeds including sea lions and seals.

The study found that from the perspective of a white Shark … neither visual motion nor shape cues allow an unequivocal visual distinction between pinnipeds and humans supporting the mistaken identity theory behind some bites. Dr. Laura Ryan, the lead author of the study and a researcher at Macquarie University’s Neurobiology Lab, said surfers have the highest risk for fatal Shark attacks.

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