Sharks & Rays

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Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how shark DNA is used as evidence to prosecute shark fin poachers . What is shark finning? Find out here .
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Sharks are one of nature’s most beautiful—and misunderstood—creatures. When...
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Long before great white sharks appeared, much larger ancestors roamed the ocean...
In this episode of the Podcast of Life , students from Martha's Vineyard...

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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...
The sea's largest fish has been a mystery until recent decades. Thanks to...
An X-ray image of a Monterey skate ( Raja montereyensis ) reveals a spine...

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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...
In California, the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary provides protection to Great White Sharks and other species. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark...
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...
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...
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 .
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...
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 .
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...
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...
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...
Tom Peschak, a photojournalist with the Save Our Seas Foundation, describes the devastating effects shark nets have on ocean life along the South African coastline. The nets were installed to protect...
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...
As far back as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by sharks. My father introduced me to the ocean through books, documentaries and diving, and whenever we would see sharks on a dive in the...
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...
The foot-long extinct shark Falcatus falcatus lived during the early Carboniferous period around 325 million years ago. The species, known from fossils in the Bear Gulch formation of Montana , was...
Enric Sala has spent much of his career looking for the ocean's "time machines" -- areas rich in biodiversity and largely unaffected by humans. In this recorded webcast , Sala, a National Geographic...
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 .
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,...
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 ,...
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