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...

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“This shark was cruising low along the reef known as Alcyone. Her left eye was glancing up toward other hammerheads when I took this shot from below.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Alan Studley. See more beautiful ocean photos...
Known to many simply as “shark girl,” Madison Stewart is an inspiring young...
I want snack, so give me cookie! The cookie cutter shark ( Isistius...

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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...
Come play in South Africa’s False Bay, where wild creatures roam. Print out this board game to play at home or school.
The shortfin mako shark ( Isurus oxyrinchus) is found offshore in tropical and warm temperate waters of all oceans, but has been known to travel to cooler waters at times. It is very strong and the...
The goblin shark ( Mitsukurina owstoni ) is one of the creepier fish out there! It has a long, prominent snout covered with special sensing organs (ampullae of Lorenzini) that help it to sense...
Sunday, November 21 marks World Fisheries Day , an annual occasion observed in many fishing communities around the world. It’s a great opportunity—even for those of us who do not fish for a living—to...
Imagine an adult person – now triple that size. That’s the size of the great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ). The biggest great white sharks can reach up to 20 feet long, but most are smaller...
Dr. Demian Chapman of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at New York’s Stony Brook University explains how DNA extraction from shark fins can identify the species of shark and where the...
A scientific illustration of the most powerful fish of its time, Carcharodon megalodon , which swam the ocean 30 million years ago. This shark may have reached a size of 20 meters/66 feet. Meet other...
Christian McDonald, the Scientific Diving Safety Officer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, tows a surface float at Millennium Atoll in the South Pacific.
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...
What would happen if we let our fear of sharks lead people to kill them all? This is the question Joe Hanson asks in this video from PBS Digital Studios. Find out about how the removal of sharks...
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...
In this episode of the Podcast of Life , students from Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in Massachusetts and La Salle Academy in Rhode Island question shark researcher Greg Skomal about a...
A thresher shark’s long tail fin helps not only its swimming ability, but also its ability to hunt. It can use the fin to herd and trap schooling fish by swimming in increasingly smaller circles...
Great white sharks are athletic hunters, leaping completely out of the water as they attack prey from below. They have six highly refined senses : smell, hearing, touch, taste, sight, and...
Manta rays are related to sharks, but have quite a different reputation among humans. They are often called the gentle giants of the sea because of their curious nature and graceful movements. This...
Named for the radiant blue color on its back and sides, the blue shark ( Prionace glauca ) traverses the world’s temperate and tropical seas. Known for traveling great distances and being a swift...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how shark DNA is used as evidence to prosecute shark fin poachers . What is shark finning? Find out here .
The Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary site in Colombia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006. The marine park surrounding Malpelo Island is the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern...
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