Sharks & Rays

FEATURES

Article
For the last 150 years, paleontologists have debated the origins of the great white shark . Many believe that they descended from the 50-foot megalodon, also known as the megatooth shark ( Carcharocles megalodon...
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...
Overview MORE STORIES Overview MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Sharks are much older than dinosaurs. Their ancestry dates back more than 400...

LATEST POSTS

“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...

LEARN MORE

There are more than 500 species of sharks swimming in the world’s ocean. Yet when most people think of these cartilaginous...
Ever heard of a cookie-cutter shark ( Isistius brasiliensis )? They look like your average shark —sort of menacing and streamlined—but their name comes from how they feed. They eat smaller animals (...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how shark DNA is used as evidence to prosecute shark fin poachers . What is shark finning? Find out here .
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...
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...
Like other catsharks, the small-spotted catshark ( Scyliorhinus canicula ) is named for the elongated, cat-like shape of its eyes. But all sharks have cat-like eyes—in a different way. Like cats,...
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...
There are more than 500 species of sharks swimming in the world’s ocean. Yet when most people think of these cartilaginous fish, a single image comes to mind: a large, sharp-toothed and scary beast...
Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray imaging to study the complex bone structure and diversity of fish. This image gallery showcases...
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...
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 ...
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 of a breaching sequence .
It's hard to imagine a 2000-pound animal launching itself out of the water while hunting, but the great white shark does just that. This spectacular behavior is called breaching, and great white...
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...
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...
What would happen if we let our fear of sharks lead people to kill them all? This is the question Joe Hanson asks in this video from PBS Digital Studios. Find out about how the removal of sharks...
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...
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...
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...
Subscribe to Sharks & Rays