If the number of shark documentaries on cable is any indication, people love to obsess about man-eating fish. Now, Australian scientists are taking the obsession one step further.
Scientists in the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries are developing a 3D computer model to test the "bite force" of the Great White, the world's largest predatory fish. Taking data from sharks caught off the Australian coast, the researchers are attempting to illustrate the cranial mechanics, bite force and feeding behavior of the sharks through the use of computer simulations, according to a news release from Science Daily. The computing methods used to calculate bite force have been adapted from models used on structural stresses.
The ultimate goal of the project? To develop better bite-resistant materials, of course. American shark biologist Dan Huber, for example, is collaborating on the project to find out whether the shark is responsible for damage to submarine cables and communication systems on U.S. Navy submarines. His team has developed Kevlar materials to protect the equipment.
"Measurement of bite forces will help in testing and developing materials suitable for cabling and sensory equipment used in the marine environment," said Michael Lowry, an investigator on the project.