Feared by most, loved my some and hunted by many, sharks are one of the most mysterious groups of creatures roaming the Earth today. Defined as a fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a sleek, streamlined body, a shark can range in size from the two foot pygmy shark, to the colossal 50-foot whale shark. There are more than 250 different species of sharks currently identified, making it one of the most diverse animal genera on the planet. Sharks are found in every major body of saltwater in the world, but are more common in warmer waters. There are a small number of shark species that do thrive in fresh water, and certain sharks have been known to venture from their saltwater homes to major freshwater lakes and rivers. Most members of the Shark family are predatory, though some are more ferocious than others. Ironically, the largest of the shark species, the whale shark and basking shark, are virtually harmless plankton eaters. Sharks have an extraordinary sense of smell when it comes to hunting prey, and have been known to be able to sense visually undetectable amounts of animal blood dispersed into the water from considerable distances.
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If Sharks Feel Pain, Why Are They Not Better Protected? (Op-Ed)
sharks, shark week, endangered species
October 17th, 2014
When a shark is caught for sport, it often dies from its injuries — why are sharks not protected the way other animals are?
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Climate Change Affects Shark Swimming in Strange Way
A catshark rests in the water.
September 16th, 2014
Sharks might not be able to adapt to acidified ocean water if climate change continues as-is, new research suggests. Exposure to ocean acidification changed sharks' nighttime swimming behavior.
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Solved: When Earth's Largest Shark Disappeared
Megalodon Fighting Titanoboa
October 22nd, 2014
A new study of fossil records estimates that the 60-foot-long (18 meters) Megalodon shark went extinct 2.6 million years ago.
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Ghoulish Photos: Creepy, Freaky Creatures That Are (Mostly) Harmless
An aye-aye in Madagascar.
October 6th, 2014
From the alien-looking and toothy lamprey to the ghoulish aye-aye with its spindly middle finger to the beady-eyed whip spider, here are some of the creepiest-looking and fear-inducing creatures on the planet that you should pet or adore more than leap fr
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New Protections for Sharks Take Effect This Weekend
Shark fins
September 12th, 2014
Good news for shark lovers: This weekend, new international laws will go into effect to strengthen protections for five shark species that are threatened by overfishing.
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Sharks Need Healthy Coral Reefs, 10-Year Study Finds
blacktip reef shark
September 10th, 2014
Healthy coral reefs, known for their brightly colored spiny and soft layers, provide a boon for sharks swimming through Australia's Great Barrier Reef, reports a new 10-year study that captured sharks on video camera.
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Ancient Finned Predator Feasted on Sharks
Illustration of Dimetrodon Battle
October 22nd, 2014
During the early Permian, carnivores greatly outnumbered herbivores on land, so top predator Dimetrodon supplemented its diet by hunting sharks.
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Manta Ray Traffickers Busted in Indonesia
Butchered manta rays
October 2nd, 2014
In a series of arrests from August to September, police caught four people peddling the gills, snouts and other parts of rays, among other grisly animal products.
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