Sharks & Rays

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Sharks come in all sizes. The largest is the whale shark , which has been known to get as large as 18 meters (60 feet). The smallest fits in your hand. And the great...
For the last 150 years, paleontologists have debated the origins of the great...
The smallest shark, a dwarf lantern shark ( Etmopterus perryi ) is smaller than...
What is scarier: sharks or extinction? This video from Save Our Seas puts...

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The shortfin mako shark ( Isurus oxyrinchus) is found offshore in tropical and warm temperate waters of all oceans, but has been known to travel to cooler waters at times. It is very strong and the fastest known species of shark...
This photo of a freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark (...
The smallest shark, a dwarf lantern shark ( Etmopterus perryi ) is smaller...

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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...
A scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini at Isla del Coco, Costa Rica. Illegal shark fishing along with increasing demand for shark fin soup has led to the removal of 95% of endangered scalloped...
Dr. Demian Chapman of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at New York’s Stony Brook University explains how DNA extraction from shark fins can identify the species of shark and where the...
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...
Sharks have young in three different ways. After internal fertilization, some species lay a thick egg case that encloses the shark embryo (seen in the photo here). Most species are ovoviviparous,...
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 . More about the great white shark...
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...
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...
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...
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...
A shark nursery of blacktip reef sharks ( Carcharhinus melanopterus ) in a lagoon in the Pacific. Shark nurseries are found mainly in shallow water regions in which the shark pups can grow up while...
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 .
Sharks have six highly refined senses: smell, hearing, touch, taste, sight, and electromagnetism. These finely honed senses, along with a sleek, torpedo-shaped body, make most sharks highly skilled...
Whenever a shark attacks a human, it's headline news. But when a human kills a shark, it goes unreported. Fear keeps many people from caring about sharks. But sharks have more reason to fear us than...
In November 2012, Australia began protecting a huge swath of its ocean from overfishing and oil exploration, creating the largest network of marine reserves in the world at a grand total of 1.2...
The scalloped hammerhead shark is one of the five species CITES has protected.
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...
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.
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