SHARK BIOLOGYGreenland Shark © Aaron Gekoski.

In this section we go back in time to unearth the origins of sharks. We'll explore how all sharks are related through the science of taxonomy. We’ll learn all about their anatomy and super sharp senses. And we’ll see how they’re perfectly suited their environment.

You’ll be left in no doubt that sharks are amongst the most impressive and formidable predators on the planet!

Use the links to your left to explore our shark biology section. 


WHY ARE SHARKS IN DANGER?

Sharks face many threats. But by far the biggest is from overfishing. They’re particularly vulnerable to human exploitation because they can’t produce enough young to compensate. Why? Because they're:

  • SLOW GROWING & LATE TO MATURE - it's estimated that the Greenland Shark can live ~400 years and doesn’t reach sexual maturity until ~150 years! Many are killed before they’ve produced offspring.
     
  • LONG PREGNANCIES - averaging between 9-12 months. The Greeneye Dogfish has the longest recorded pregnancy at 31 months!
     
  • PRODUCE FEW YOUNG - varying from 2 pups for the Bigeye Thresher to 135 for the Blue Shark. Compare this to the reproduction potential of bony fish who release millions of eggs.
     
  • MAY NOT REPRODUCE EVERY YEAR - some species have a resting phase of 1-2 years.

Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year, causing many populations to decline at an alarming rate.

Without sharks marine ecosystems face an uncertain future. Safeguarding their future through positive change is key!

► Help save sharks and keep our seas healthy - visit our Get Involved page