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Sharkbites Saturday

This category contains 53 posts

Birds of a Feather: Social Dynamics of Juvenile Lemon Sharks

Like human’s, juvenile lemon sharks form social groups, but how do they choose who they hang out with? Find out of if the saying “bird’s of a feather flock together” applies to these sharks as well. Jasmin GrahamI am a Masters student in Biological Sciences at Florida State University. I received my B.S. in Marine […]

Rock your Antibodies: Understanding an Ancient Immune System Protein in Brownbanded Bamboo Sharks

Sharks evolved into the top predators we know and love today millions of years ago. Because of their success at the top of the food chain, sharks have remained, in an evolutionary sense, relatively constant, meaning they haven’t evolved or changed much. This consistency provides shark scientists a window into the past, as some characteristics […]

Release the Robots! How researchers are studying stressed sharks

Have you ever wondered what happens to a fish after you catch and release it? Does its behavior change? Does it survive after it’s been taken out of the water? Researchers are now using remote controlled robots to answer these very questions! Grace CasselberryI am currently a Marine Science and Technology Doctoral student at the […]

How Jaws Could Cure Cancer: The White Shark Genome and Its Influence on Human Health

When you hear the words “great white shark” what thoughts come to mind?  Awe, reverence, maybe even fear? I’m sure you don’t think of how great white sharks can impact the future of human medicine. However, a new study by the Save Our Seas Shark Research Center recently found links between great white sharks and […]

The geographic bias in the media reporting of predator-human interactions around the world and its impact on conservation actions

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! Read on to read about how reporting influences our perception of human-predator interactions, and resulting conservation efforts. Theresa BellaI am a brazilian fishing engineer graduated at Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE). I am very passionate about marine life in general, especially marine megafauna. My interests focus on […]

How do skates of the deep survive the crushing pressure?

On this Sharkbites Saturday we look at a fish that isn’t a shark at all! Here we explain how skates, the cousins of sharks and rays, use an interesting physiological mechanism to survive the pressure of the deep ocean. Carolyn WheelerI am currently a PhD student studying marine science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, […]

You Light Up My World: Using Genetics to Understand How Velvet Belly Lanternsharks Produce Light

The velvet belly lanternshark, a deep sea shark species, can create its own light to attract prey and evade predators. How is it able to do this? A recent study uses cutting edge genetics technology to find out the genes involved in this process. Sydney HarnedI received my BS in marine biology from the University […]

Greenland sharks: Caught on tape for conservation

In 2016 researchers discovered that Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) are the oldest living vertebrates on the planet. What does that mean for the conservation and management of these large, cold-water predators? This week we’ll find out. Grace CasselberryI am currently a Marine Science and Technology Doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I use […]

What’s next for Air Jaws? Research Priorities for The Great White Shark

Since the beginning of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, viewers have been mesmerized by the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). The great white shark coverage outshines the rest with television specials like the Air Jaws series filling many of the week’s time slots. There are numerous unanswered questions about its ecology, physiology, and relationship with humans. To […]

Tracking the Bay’s Rays: Cownose ray migration along the Atlantic coast

If you’ve ever tickled the back of a stingray in an aquarium’s touch tank, you’ve likely introduced yourself to a cownose ray. Despite their popularity in aquaria throughout the U.S., little is known about the movements of these fish in the wild. Grace CasselberryI am currently a Marine Science and Technology Doctoral student at the […]

In the hot seat: Hot spots for pelagic shark movement reflect hot spots for commercial longline fisheries in the North Atlantic.

Check out the latest from Matt Larsen about shark habitat around the globe, and how these areas overlap with fishing hotspots! Matthew LarsenI am a second year master’s student at Coastal Carolina University in the Abel Lab. My interests focus on the ecology and life history of large marine megafauna with a central focus on […]

Shark Intelligence: Who needs a degree when you’re schoolin’ life?

People often associate intelligence with mammals because humans are mammals and we like to think of ourselves as being pretty smart. The movie Deep Blue Sea toys with the concept of genetically modified hyper-intelligent sharks running loose in a research facility. While this Sci-Fi thriller is a sensational over-exaggeration, it does pose an interesting question: […]

Saving Sawfish: Adventures in the Everglades

A few months ago, I wrote about sawfish research in Papua New Guinea, but if you live in the U.S. you can find sawfish much closer to home. The smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) once roamed throughout the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast, but now calls South Florida, particularly Everglades National Park, home. […]

The shark and the side salad

Everyone knows all sharks are carnivores. Or are they? Grace CasselberryI am currently a Marine Science and Technology Doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I use acoustic and satellite telemetry to study the spatial ecology of lemon, nurse, Caribbean reef, and tiger sharks in St. Croix to better understand habitat selection, residency, and […]

Jumbo Shrimp: The First Definitive Evidence of a Megalodon Nursery

Where did baby Megalodon sharks hang out? In nurseries of course! Read on to learn more about how scientists identified a Megalodon shark nursery area using the fossil record! Matthew LarsenI am a second year master’s student at Coastal Carolina University in the Abel Lab. My interests focus on the ecology and life history of […]

A Species Hiding in Plain Sight

People have been catching this shark for years and have been mistaking it for its identical relative. But, scientists have now discovered that this is an entirely new species hiding in the shadow of its look-a-like. Jasmin GrahamI am a Masters student in Biological Sciences at Florida State University. I received my B.S. in Marine […]

Intent to Bite: changing attitudes towards sharks

Fear of sharks has been a long standing yet irrational notion facing beachgoers for decades. Herein we discuss how we may be able to curb this fear to change public opinion and promote conservation efforts of many species. Carolyn WheelerI am currently a PhD student studying marine science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with […]

Ecotourism may impact white shark activity levels

Herein we discuss new research using accelerators to investigate if wildlife tourism (for example cage diving) impacts activity in white sharks. The outcomes of this study have implications not only for tourism regulation but also provide insight on possible ecosystem effects. Carolyn WheelerI am currently a PhD student studying marine science at the University of […]

A new take on disco fever: using “the disco effect” to save sharks

Happy Shark Week! In this article we discuss the potential use of disco-like stimuli to deter various species sharks from being accidentally caught in fisheries. Carolyn WheelerI am currently a PhD student studying marine science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with my research based at the New England Aquarium. My research interests center around […]

Stuck in the middle with you: The trophic ecology of Caribbean reef sharks and large teleost coral reef predators

We often think of sharks as the top of the ocean food web, chowing down on seals and big fish to their heart’s content. That is often not the case! Where does the Caribbean reef shark fall in this hierarchy? Let’s find out. Grace CasselberryI am currently a Marine Science and Technology Doctoral student at […]

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