Meet the “Walking Sharks:” They Amble on Land, Too.

 Walking sharks are only a small piece of our planet’s shark universe, but they’re remarkable for their ability to propel themselves along the seafloor using bodies and fins. And, actually, on land – literally fishes out of water. New walking shark research by an international team of scientists has found that, in terms of evolution, they are the most recent group of sharks to arrive on the scene. DESPITE A COMMON MISCONCEPTION, only a small number

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Effective Shark Finning Bans Advancing – Hopefully

Efforts to eliminate the cruel practice of shark finning – slashing the fins off captured sharks for financial gain and sending the mutilated sharks to certain, slow death in the oceans – has been a long slog of slow progress, inadequate measures and outright failures. But several steps supporting shark finning bans, including significant  measures in the U.S. Congress, offer hope for effective progress. A BILL THAT WOULD MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO BUY, SELL OR

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First the Study! Now the Movie! Great Whites Run Away!

The video just shows great white and orca fins breaking the surface, but it reinforces findings published in mid-2019 that great white sharks run away when killer whales show up. A link worth reading and viewing! GREAT WHITE SHARKS AREN’T SO TOUGH, RESEARCHERS REPORTED LAST SPRING. It turns out that they have apex predators of their own in orcas, or killer whales. “When confronted by orcas, white sharks will immediately vacate their preferred hunting ground

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Manta Ray Socializing: Mantas Just Want to Hang Out

FAR FROM BEING FREE-RANGING LONERS, MANTA RAYS BOND WITH EACH OTHER in relationships that often last for extended periods, according to a five-year study of manta ray socializing in Indonesia. Some mantas form loosely connected groups to hang out with. Not surprisingly, like their human counterparts, female mantas form much tighter friendships with other females than males do among themselves. The males? Well, the boys’ groups were looser and they tend to cruise more. MANTA

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Meet the American Pocket Shark. It Glows. Maybe

POCKET SHARKS ARE SO SINGULAR THAT AS FAR AS THE WORLD KNOWS there are only two known species – and only one specimen of each. The first resides in a museum in Russia. The second, found in the Gulf of Mexico and just identified, has been given a scientific name but it’s probably going to be known as the American pocket shark. If having one specimen each of two species makes them the world’s rarest

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Hunting Shark Teeth: After the Feeding Frenzy, the Shark Tooth Frenzy

SHARKS ARE KIND OF NOTORIOUS FOR HAVING TEETH – it is, after, all the principal reason we fear them. But they’re also famous for losing them. And some of us diving human beings are famous for hunting shark teeth. In fact, sharks drop teeth continuously. Inside their powerful jaws, they have multiple rows of choppers. When one falls out, one behind it moves forward to take its place, as if on a conveyor belt. Over

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Some Sharks Have to Swim to Survive, But Most Don’t

DO SHARKS HAVE TO SWIM CONSTANTLY IN ORDER TO BREATHE? The answer is yes – for the relatively small number of shark species that excite us the most, like great whites and hammerheads. But it’s not the case with most of the 400-plus species of sharks in the oceans, like the familiar nurse shark and lesser-known species like bullhead, angel and carpet sharks. WATER, OXYGEN & GILLS Like all fish, sharks breathe by extracting oxygen

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 Diving with Manta Rays: Atlantic Giant Manta Encounter

DIVING WITH MANTA RAYS WAS SORT OF A DISTANT FANTASY. I just wanted to see them. The giant Atlantic mantas I had seen in the past were fast-moving and, mouths agape, totally focused on sweeping up the plankton they make their livings on. Suddenly here, there, gone. Spending extended time in close-up choreography with one of these gentle giants was not in my vision. Until it was. The dive was at Flower Garden Banks National

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Flower Garden Banks – A Manta Ray Nursery

MANTA RAYS ARE FOUND IN OCEANS WORLDWIDE, BUT MANTA RAY JUVENILES ARE RARELY SEEN. Except, it develops, in the newly recognized manta ray nursery in the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. When visiting manta specialist Josh Stewart told Flower Gardens staff he had spotted only the second juvenile he had ever seen, their response was: they see them all the time. Apparently, they assumed the smaller mantas were a different species

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Manta Rays: Gentle Giants Explained

1)  THERE ARE TWO SPECIES OF MANTA RAYS – OCEAN MANTAS (MANTA BIROSTRIS) AND REEF MANTAS (MANTA ALFREDI). M. birostris is also sometimes known by the names giant ocean manta and Atlantic giant manta. Mantas are the largest members of the ray family and among the largest fishes in the sea. 2) Oceanic mantas are found worldwide, often reported as swimming great distances across oceans. They generally prefer tropical and subtropical waters. 3) Reef mantas are

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