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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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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Patience, Persistence Reveal Sharks' True Nature
sharks, animal behavior, caribbean reef sharks
September 11th, 2014
Sharks are not simple-minded killers — in fact, many tend to be social, with individual personalities.
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As Sharks Disappear, So Could Shark Week​ (Op-Ed)
sharks, shark week, endangered species
August 13th, 2014
Shark Week can be terrifying, but sharks have much more to fear than we do.
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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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This Tactic Could Wipe Out Shark Attacks
Researchers restrain a tiger shark off the coast of Australia
August 7th, 2014
Preventing shark attacks doesn't require culling sharks. A new study finds that a shark catch-and-release program in Brazil dramatically decreased, by 97%, the number of attacks on humans.
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Great White Sharks Are Making a Comeback off US Coasts
A great white shark
June 20th, 2014
Good news for great whites: The sharks are on the rise off both the east and west coasts of the United States, two new studies show.
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