Sharks

A tiger shark swims in the Bahamas. Over the past several decades, the predators ventured farther north in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

Some Tiger Sharks Are Migrating Farther North Due to Climate Change

The predator’s movements in the Atlantic Ocean could scramble ecosystems and endanger the sharks by sending them outside marine protected areas

A CT scan of the spiral intestine of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark (Squalus suckleyi). The organ begins on the left and ends on the right.

Innovation for Good

Ten Scientific Discoveries From 2021 That May Lead to New Inventions

From nanobots to cancer treatments, nature inspires a wide variety of innovations

Sharks have been on the planet for close to 500 million years and, in that time, have developed an extraordinary immune system with immune mechanisms that mammals do not have.
 

How Shark Antibodies Could Aid the Fight Against Coronavirus and Prepare for Future Outbreaks

The protein-like immune molecules were found to block SARS-Cov-2 from entering human cells

A humpback whale and her calf swim underwater. A recent study in Nature found whales eat and poop way more than previously thought—and that feces plays an important role in fertilizing the ocean.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2021

From the discovery of a large bioluminescent shark to the use of an innovative drone to study hurricanes, these are the best marine stories of the year

One reader wonders why more flowers and fruits aren't blue-hued.

Ask Smithsonian

Why Are So Few Flowers and Fruits Blue? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

The embryo of a small-spotted catshark, safe inside its egg case, is being raised at the aquarium Oceanogràfic València by Associació Lamna, a nonprofit that promotes shark conservation and research. At this stage, the young shark's gills are still external and it is growing from the sustenance provided in the yolk, visible at the bottom of the egg case.

Biologists Rescue Unborn Baby Sharks at Fish Markets

Scientists are collecting egg cases from recently caught pregnant sharks, raising the babies and releasing them into the wild

Hammerhead sharks have are considered critically endangered.

More Than a Third of Shark Species Are Now Threatened With Extinction

Overfishing, habitat loss and climate change are behind the 'desperate' decline

A 3D image of the spiral-shaped intestine of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark. In life, food would move through this intestine left to right.

Innovation for Good

Sharks' Intestines Spiral Like a Valve Invented by Nikola Tesla

Tesla's ingenious valve promoted a one-way flow of fluid without the need for moving parts, but, it turns out, evolution got there first

An Atlantic White Shark Conservancy boat and crew work to tag a great white shark in the waters off the shore in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on July 13, 2019.

Can New Tools Help Beachgoers Predict the Likelihood That a Shark Is Nearby?

Great whites have returned to Cape Cod, and efforts are underway to help people coexist with them

Though researchers recovered most of the person's remains,  experts were unable to find some portions of his skeleton.

Archaeologists Uncover a 3,000-Year-Old Shark Attack Victim

Researchers found the skeletal remains at a prehistoric hunter-gatherer cemetery in Japan

While most open ocean sharks disappeared after the event, coastal sharks survived, and today's sharks most likely ascended from the survivors.

A Puzzling Extinction Event Almost Wiped Sharks Out of Existence 19 Million Years Ago

Sediment cores show that shark populations declined by 90% during the Miocene, but no one knows why

This mosaic featuring fish was likely laid down in A.D. 300 in what is now the Israeli town of Lod.

What Archaeology Tells Us About the Ancient History of Eating Kosher

A new study of fish remains deepens scholars' understanding of how the dietary laws came to be

Great white sharks travel hundreds of miles to specific locations in the world’s oceans.

New Evidence Suggests Sharks Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Navigate

Bonnethead sharks swam in the direction of their home waters when placed in a tank charged with an electromagnetic field

The shark fossil is nearly seven feet long, with two 2.5-foot-long fin spines on its back.

New Research

New Mexico's 'Godzilla' Shark Fossil Gets an Official Name

The prehistoric beast's scientific name is Dracopristis hoffmanorum

New research examining Mexican fishermen’s catches suggests the Gulf of California may be an overlooked great white shark nursery or pupping ground.

The Gulf of California May Be an Overlooked Home for Great White Sharks

The existence of an artisanal fishery in the region shows that these key predators may be more than just occasional visitors

An illustration of the ancient shark Edestus heinrichi preying on a fish. Many ancient sharks had different jaws than modern sharks.

These Prehistoric Sharks Had Jaws Shaped Like Circular Saws and Sawtoothed Scissors

CT scans and visualization tools are now allowing scientists to recreate the weird cartilaginous structures of ancient predators

The eagle shark's long, slender side fins are one of its "most striking features," says first author Romain Vullo.

New Research

Discovery of a 95-Million-Year-Old 'Eagle Shark' Fossil Makes Waves

The ancient creature likely used its six-foot-wide wingspan to move with 'underwater flight'

The researchers found that 3D tracking tags picked up circling movements in various animals including, king penguins, tiger sharks, whale sharks and a Cuvier's beaked whale.

Researchers Are Investigating Why Marine Animals Swim in Perplexing Circles

Sea creatures may exhibit the spiraling behavior to navigate the ocean, for mating rituals, or to track prey

Photos of the kitefin shark glowing in the dark.

New Research

Nearly Six-Foot-Long Glowing Shark Discovered in Deep Sea Off New Zealand

The kitefin shark is one of three species of glowing sharks described in a new paper

Both sides of a shark tooth from Rio do Meio, an artifact which may have been used as a cutting tool. Archaeologists think it was bound to a wooden shaft by cord, strung through the drilled holes.

Why Did Ancient Indigenous Groups in Brazil Hunt Sharks?

New studies show that shark meat may have constituted half of their diet and that the beasts' teeth were used as arrow tips and razor blades

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