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CREDIT: © Mary Parrish/Smithsonian Institution 1. Respect Your Elders Sharks have a long and impressive lineage. Ancient sharks were cruising the ocean 400 million years ago—long before dinosaurs roamed on land. Now-extinct ancestors of...
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Sophi Bromenshenkel is an unlikely shark -lover. She's eight years old and...
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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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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 tagged animal, dubbed "Rio Lady,"...
An X-ray image of a Monterey skate ( Raja montereyensis ) reveals a spine...
"Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year, often only for their fins...

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There are more than 500 species of sharks swimming in the world’s ocean. Yet when most people think of these cartilaginous...
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. In a 2010 study ,...
Ever heard of a cookie-cutter shark ( Isistius brasiliensis )? They look like your average shark —sort of menacing and streamlined—but their name comes from how they feed. They eat smaller animals (...
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...
When we think "Africa," we think of the "Big Five"—lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos—that crisscross the African Savannah. Few would imagine that there could be more natural beauty on...
Millions of sharks are caught each year for their dorsal fins, which are prized for shark fin soup. Top predators like sharks are important to maintaining biodiversity, and their removal can have...
Great white sharks ( Carcharodon carcharias ) are marvels of evolution, with highly-evolved senses keeping them among the ocean’s top predators. However, they are threatened with extinction and...
Christian McDonald, the Scientific Diving Safety Officer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, tows a surface float at Millennium Atoll in the South Pacific.
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...
Gray reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ) are known for being active at night. They are considered Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List due to fishing and the loss of their coral reef habitat...
Not all sharks are a dull gray: the coral catshark ( Atelomycterus marmoratus ), for example, is vibrantly colored. These sharks, which reach more than 2 feet long, live among coral reefs, eating...
Is it an enormous eel? No—it's a shark! The frilled shark is named for its strange appearance , including a snakelike body, three pronged teeth, and gills that give the impression of a frilly collar...
The fossil tooth whorl of the ancient shark Helicoprion , dating back 290 million years before present. For a long time, people didn't know what the shark looked like—but, thanks to a CT scan of a...
The distinctive form of a winghead shark ( Eusphyra blochii ) is revealed by an X-ray image. The Winghead Shark, one of about ten species of hammerhead sharks, has its eyes set at the tips of its...
Large numbers of grey reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ) were observed at Jarvis Island, an uninhabited Pacific island, during the 2010 Pacific RAMP expedition of the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai ...
Three bar jacks and a female tiger shark, nearly 4-meters long, swim off the coast of the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years,...
Sharks are one of nature’s most beautiful—and misunderstood—creatures. When most people think of sharks, they think of unexpecting swimmers being attacked and eaten by a nightmarish creature. But...
Follow a journey with satellite tags placed on bull sharks and tarpon. Both of these large predatory fish are found in coastal in-shore ecosystems and the two species have similar diets. If given the...
During the late Cretaceous period, Kansas was covered by a vast sea. There, scientists have found fossils of Squalicorax sharks (also called crow sharks) that lived 70-80 million years ago. They were...
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