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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Sharks

There are more than 500 species of sharks swimming in the world’s ocean. Yet when most people think of these cartilaginous...

Shark Teeth Tell Great White Shark Evolution Story

This fossil jaw of Carcharodon hubbelli , a possible great white shark ancestor, contains 222 teeth, some in rows up to six teeth deep. Credit: Jeff Gage/Florida Museum of Natural History For the last...
A whale shark swims with a diver off the coast of East Africa.

The Big Five of the Ocean: Exploring the Waters of East Africa

A whale shark swims with a diver off the coast of East Africa. Credit: Caine Delacy When we think "Africa," we think of the "Big Five"—lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos—that crisscross the African...
Henry the Fish is made completely out of colorful plastic that washed up on Oregon beaches.

Washed Ashore: From Beach Trash to Ocean Art

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...
Caribbean reef sharks swim over a coral reef in the Bahamas.

Ocean Portal's Top Shark Resources

Caribbean reef sharks swim over a coral reef in the Bahamas. Credit: © Brian Skerry, www.brianskerry.com Every summer since 1987 (that's right, shark week is over 25 years old!) the Discovery Channel has been...
Freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark held by fisherman with knife.

Shark Finning: Sharks Turned Prey

A fisherman holds a freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini). Every year, humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks. Removing sharks in large numbers can have ripple effects that...

Where the Shark and the Snapper Roam

Grey reef sharks are among the most versatile and tough predators on a Pacific coral reef, but they are also among the most vulnerable species, as they are threatened by wasteful fishing practices like...

Shark Girl: Changing Shark Fear to Fascination

Madison Stewart, known to many simply as “shark girl,” is an inspiring young woman with a passion to protect the creatures most people fear: sharks. She’s been diving with sharks since the age of...
A Greenland shark photographed in the St. Lawrence Estuary, near Baie-Comeau, Quebec

Greenland Shark: One Species at a Time

Scientists know the Greenland shark ( Somniosus microcephalus ) moves slowly in the Arctic's cold water. They also know that parasites attack the shark's eyes. But much about this animal remains a mystery. Marine...

Sharks

There are more than 500 species of sharks swimming in the world’s ocean. Yet when most people think of these cartilaginous fish, a single image comes to mind: a large, sharp-toothed and scary beast...

Good-Bye Gillnet, Hello Shark Recovery!

A thresher shark was killed after becoming stuck in a gillnet. Credit: Brian Skerry Imagine that you're a shark swimming beneath the surface, minding your own business, when—smack!—you swim right into a net. Entangled,...

Bite Size: Bull Shark Predation of Tarpon

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...

What’s the Ocean Worth...in Dollars?

Credit: © John Hilliard Tsukiji Fish Market’s first auction of 2016 made headlines when a 440lb (200kg) endangered bluefin tuna sold for 14 million yen—about 117,283 U.S. dollars. In 2013 a single fish was...
Greenland Shark in cold water

In the Eyes of One Shark, Age is Nothing to Fear

Greenland Shark in icy Arctic waters. Credit: Julius Nielson In the freezing waters of the Arctic a toothed leviathan – the Greenland shark - claims an impressive feat. It now holds the record for...
An underwater photo of sharks

Why Are We So Afraid of Sharks? It Could Be the Background Music

Remember the first time you watched Jaws ? Can you hear John Williams’ spine tingling movie score playing right now? Dahh-na. Dahh-na. Dah-na dah-na dah-na—it’s enough to make a swimmer beeline for the shore.

What If There Were No Sharks?

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 dwarf lantern shark sits in a human hand.

Weird, Wacky, Wonderful Sharks

Saw sharks and frilled sharks and ghost sharks, oh my! All sharks are pretty wild in one way or another—but these sharks might just be the wackiest of them all. With extendable jaws, poisonous...

Sharks are also afraid of shark attacks

Caribbean reef sharks are not the reef's top predator. A fearful reef shark flees from a great hammerhead in the Exumas, Bahamas. The video is taken using a baited remote underwater video (BRUV) as...

Ashmore Reef highlights

The sharks and rays of Ashmore Reef in North West Australia visit baited remote underwater videos (BRUVs) as part of the Global FinPrint project.

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