Sharks & Rays

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Starting this Sunday, August 1st, the fins will be circling on a television near you. Sunday kicks off The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” an annual TV ritual that offers hours of programming about sharks—some...
Tom Peschak, a photojournalist with the Save Our Seas Foundation, describes the...
by Caty Fairclough Sharks have been feared hunters ever since people first...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place...

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An X-ray image of a Monterey skate ( Raja montereyensis ) reveals a spine that extends like a tail out from the pelvic fin. The skeletons of skates, rays, chimaeras, and sharks are made of cartilage, rather than bone. Scientists...
The smallest shark, a dwarf lantern shark ( Etmopterus perryi ) is smaller...
A thresher shark’s long tail fin helps not only its swimming ability, but...

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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 Ocean Blog

The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
This photo of a freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark ( Sphyrna lewini ) , was taken in 2006 on a long-lined fishing boat in Cocos Island, 300 miles off the Pacific coast of Costa...
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 ,...
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 . Learn more about the great white...
by Caty Fairclough Sharks have been feared hunters ever since people first observed them swimming in the vast ocean. Yet today, sharks are declining rapidly on a global scale because humans have...
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 .
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...
I want snack, so give me cookie! The cookie cutter shark ( Isistius brasiliensis ) is as fearless as they come! This small, 20-inch shark can take on giants like whales and larger sharks, and have...
Christian McDonald, the Scientific Diving Safety Officer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, tows a surface float at Millennium Atoll in the South Pacific.
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 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...
The smallest shark, a dwarf lantern shark ( Etmopterus perryi ) is smaller than a human hand. It's rarely seen and little is known about it, having only been observed a few times off the northern tip...
Great White Sharks are stealthy hunters and the secret is in their skin. Shark skin is covered by tiny flat V-shaped scales, called dermal denticles, that are more like teeth than fish scales. These...
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...
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...
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...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Shark Center sampling a confiscated shark fin for DNA analysis. He can determine the species for hundreds of shark fins using...
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...
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