Sharks & Rays

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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...
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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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Lying in water only a foot deep, I watched the shark meander lazily through the...

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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 even been known to mistakenly...
For many years, shark fin soup has been a popular delicacy at weddings and...
Sharks come in all sizes. The largest is the whale shark , which has been...

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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...
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...
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 .
Reef sharks rarely get any love. These sharks, comprising several species, loiter around coral reefs, snacking on small fish, squids and crustaceans. And while their size is nothing to smirk at—5-10...
Known to many simply as “shark girl,” Madison Stewart is an inspiring young woman with a passion to protect the creatures most people fear: sharks. S he’s been diving with sharks since the age of...
Large numbers of grey reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ) were observed at Jarvis Island, an uninhabited Pacific island, during the 2010 Pacific RAMP expedition of the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai ...
Come play in South Africa’s False Bay, where wild creatures roam. Print out this board game to play at home or school.
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 .
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...
A lemon shark pup swims through a shallow mangrove forest off the coast of Bimini Island in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years...
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...
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...
“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...
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...
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...
Sharks are much older than dinosaurs. Their ancestry dates back more than 400 million years, and they are one of evolution’s greatest success stories. These animals are uniquely adapted to their...
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...
Unlike the hammerhead, the oceanic white-tip shark ( Carcharhinus longimanus ) is aggressive towards humans. It has been noted as a danger toward those stranded at sea, and is very powerful during...
How does this skate ( Bathyraja richardsoni ) measure up? Researchers use underwater equipment to estimate its size. The marks on the meter-long scale bars are 10 cm apart. The yellow ribbons show...
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