Sharks & Rays

Sharks, rays and skates are fish. But unlike most fish, their skeletons are made of the same cartilage found in our human ears and noses, rather than bone. A diverse group, the elasmobranchs have over 300 species.

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Sophi Bromenshenkel is an unlikely shark -lover. She's eight years old and hails from Minnesota, a state that couldn't be further from the ocean. But a family vacation to Florida changed everything. When she...
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Great white sharks are athletic hunters, leaping completely out of the water as...
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Reef sharks rarely get any love. These sharks, comprising several species,...
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Starting this Sunday, August 1st, the fins will be circling on a television...

LATEST CATCH

It's hard to imagine a 2000-pound animal launching itself out of the water while hunting, but the great white shark does just that. This spectacular behavior is called breaching, and great white sharks breach in order to catch...
Sharks come in all sizes. The largest is the whale shark , which has been...
Sharks have young in three different ways. After internal fertilization,...

DIVE DEEPER

There are more than 500 species of sharks swimming in the world’s ocean. Yet when most people think of these cartilaginous...
A lemon shark pup swims through a shallow mangrove forest off the coast of Bimini Island in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years...
Come play in South Africa’s False Bay, where wild creatures roam. Print out this board game to play at home or school.
Great White Sharks breach to hunt -- with split-second timing they grab an unsuspecting seal or sea lion in one swift snatch. Follow the action in this slideshow . More about the great white shark...
This illustration shows one old idea of what the ancient shark Helicoprion might have looked like. There once was room for many ideas—some more plausible than others—because the only fossils of the...
Sharks come in all sizes. The largest is the whale shark , which has been known to get as large as 18 meters (60 feet). The smallest fits in your hand. And the great white shark is somewhere in the...
Shark nets are trapping and killing dozens of sharks off the coast of South Africa. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark featured story .
Known to many simply as “shark girl,” Madison Stewart is an inspiring young woman with a passion to protect the creatures most people fear: sharks. S he’s been diving with sharks since the age of...
From a distance, Henry the Fish looks like a typical quirky and colorful sculpture you'd find in a small beach town. But when you look up close, Henry begins to change. His bright yellow and red...
The foot-long extinct shark Falcatus falcatus lived during the early Carboniferous period around 325 million years ago. The species, known from fossils in the Bear Gulch formation of Montana , was...
Imagine that you're a shark swimming beneath the surface, minding your own business, when—smack!—you swim right into a net. Entangled, you are unable to keep swimming forward to draw water over your...
Who should fear whom? Less than ten humans are killed by shark attacks. Yet millions of sharks are killed each year by humans. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark...
Perhaps the most distinctive marine animal of all—the Great Hammerhead has a unique hammer-shaped head that gives it large visual range. Like other sharks, the hammerhead has many teeth. More so than...
The blue-spotted stingray ( Taeniura lymma ) doesn’t like to be covered in sand like other species of stingray do. Instead, it prefers to show off its beautiful blue spots and, to stay up to the best...
An oceanic whitetip shark swims near a biologist in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years, Skerry has been swimming with and...
The sea's largest fish has been a mystery until recent decades. Thanks to electronic tags, researchers are uncovering some of the secrets of the whale shark ( Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828 ). One...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how shark DNA is used as evidence to prosecute shark fin poachers . What is shark finning? Find out here .
For many years, shark fin soup has been a popular delicacy at weddings and formal occasions in China. Recently, it has become clear that shark-fin removal is cruel to sharks and severely damages...
A shark nursery of blacktip reef sharks ( Carcharhinus melanopterus ) in a lagoon in the Pacific. Shark nurseries are found mainly in shallow water regions in which the shark pups can grow up while...
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