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.




There are more than 500 species of sharks swimming in the world’s ocean. Yet when most people think of these cartilaginous...
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The State of Sharks, 40 Years After Jaws

by Nancy Knowlton and Wendy Benchley A shortfin mako glides through the waters off the coast of California. Credit: © Brian Skerry, This year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Jaws...
Hawaiian Monk Seal

Backbone of Biodiversity at Risk

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...
Sophi Bromenshenkel poses with a hammerhead shark snow sculpture.

Saving Sharks and Dolphins, Near and Far

Shark-lover and Minnesota native Sophi Bromenshenkel poses with her hammerhead snow sculpture. The eight-year-old is one of Oceana's 2011 Ocean Heroes . Credit: Courtesy of Neil Bromenshenkel Sophi Bromenshenkel is an unlikely shark -lover...
Giant Pacific Manta Ray, Roca Partida Sea Mount, Revillagigedos Islands, Mexico

Tagging and Tracking Animals Underwater

“Manta rays sometimes approach divers; an up-close encounter with such a huge, peaceful animal is unforgettable!” -- Nature's Best photographer, Deborah Smrekar. Equipment Used to Capture the Shot: Nikon D70; 12-24mm; 1/100 sec at...
An oceanic whitetip shark swims near a biologist in the Bahamas.

Spectacular Shark Pictures

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 what they don’t know is that...