Sharks & Rays

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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 sharks—some...
Tom Peschak, a photojournalist with the Save Our Seas Foundation, describes the...
by Caty Fairclough Sharks have been feared hunters ever since people first...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place...

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An X-ray image of a Monterey skate ( Raja montereyensis ) reveals a spine that extends like a tail out from the pelvic fin. The skeletons of skates, rays, chimaeras, and sharks are made of cartilage, rather than bone. Scientists...
The smallest shark, a dwarf lantern shark ( Etmopterus perryi ) is smaller...
A thresher shark’s long tail fin helps not only its swimming ability, but...

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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...

The Ocean Blog

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...
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 ( Carcharodon carcharias ) are powerful swimmers, capable of going 50 kph / 35 mph. They can migrate long distances, from Hawaii to California, and from South Africa to Australia...
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 .
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...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Shark Center sampling a confiscated shark fin for DNA analysis. He can determine the species for hundreds of shark fins using...
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 .
Two fossilized teeth from a megalodon ( Carcharodon megalodon ) dating back more than 20 million years. Their teeth can reach a diagonal length of seven inches! The ancestry of great white sharks has...
“Once in a while, manta rays appear in great numbers in a small bay in the Baa Atoll. The concentration of plankton must be very high in this particular bay, because up to 200 manta rays have been...
It's illegal to hunt threatened species such as the Dusky shark, but still tens of millions of sharks are taken each year for their fins—in high demand as a delicacy in China. Inside his laboratory...
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...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
An X-ray image of a Monterey skate ( Raja montereyensis ) reveals a spine that extends like a tail out from the pelvic fin. The skeletons of skates, rays, chimaeras, and sharks are made of cartilage...
A great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ) emerges from the water's surface, gaping at the photographer. Gaping is a way sharks communicate with each other, and maybe even try and communicate...
An oceanic whitetip shark swims near a biologist in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years, Skerry has been swimming with and...
Who should fear whom? Less than ten humans are killed by shark attacks. Yet millions of sharks are killed each year by humans. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark...
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...
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...
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