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.

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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 mystery. Marine...
Sharks come in all sizes. The largest is the whale shark , which has been known...
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...

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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...
Known to many simply as “shark girl,” Madison Stewart is an inspiring young...
I want snack, so give me cookie! The cookie cutter shark ( Isistius...

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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...
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...
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...
The sea's largest fish has been a mystery until recent decades. Thanks to electronic tags, researchers are uncovering some of the secrets of the whale shark ( Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828 ). One...
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