Last summer I attended the Sharks International conference in Cairns, Australia. It was an opportunity to catch up with sharky colleagues, and to hear about all the terrific shark research being done around the world. Many of the meeting papers have now been published in a special issue … Read more about Rediscovery of a Lost Shark
One weapon in the arsenal of those opposed to hunting sharks for flesh and fins is a food-safety argument - shark meat contains high levels of many dangerous environmental chemicals. Indeed the significant pollution of the much of our water supply means that many aquatic food sources carry … Read more about Toxic Sharks
Chondrichthyes is the name given to the cartilaginous fishes, and includes the Elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays) and the Holocephalans (chimaeras). Among the many differences between these two groups, which diverged from a common ancestor more than 400 million years ago, is the structure … Read more about Sharks and Chimaeras…..and a Hedgehog
Sorry for not posting in a while, been busy with the end of the academic year and our annual Biology student camping trip. While I was pulling ticks in Kentucky though some very cool shark research was published, and I’ll try to catch up on those papers. This first article was of … Read more about Sharks, and more sharks….
When not studying sharks I make my living as a developmental biologist, studying the processes that control embryonic development in mammals. There are few things developmental biologists like better than a good mutant, and much of what we know about normal development has come from studying … Read more about The Shark with Two Heads
One of the advantages of writing a blog is being able to occasionally plug your own work, or in this case what is primarily the work of a friend and colleague. This amazing story begins on the morning of March 7, 2009 in Donsol, Philippines. Elson Aca, at that time the Donsol Whale Shark … Read more about A Bit of Self-Promotion
March 14, 2011 Megamouth sharks (Megachasma pelagios) are one of the three living species of filter-feeding sharks, along with the whale shark and basking shark. They are also among the rarest and least understood of sharks - only 50 animals have been seen since the species was first … Read more about Megamouth Shark Electrosensory System
February 22, 2011 Many deep-water marine creatures sport some sort of luminescent or light-emitting organ. These structures function to distract predators, or serve as lures to draw prey. The lure of the anglerfish, for example, can be retracted towards the mouth, bringing prey in close … Read more about Glow-in-the-Dark Sharks
January 31, 2011 Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are common off the northwestern coast of the US and Canada. Decades ago researchers learned that there were two separate populations of these animals - “resident” whales who remain in the area for long periods of time, and “transient” whales who … Read more about Whales Eat Sharks
Different animals eat different diets, in part because they have different types of teeth. The piercing and tearing teeth of a carnivore, for example, in comparison to the flat chewing teeth of a plant-eater. Think tigers versus cows, for terrestrial animals. Among sharks, contrast the thousands of … Read more about Bigmouth Strikes Again
December 16, 2010 People suffering from terminal diseases often grasp at unproven therapies. For several decades one of these has been shark cartilage, claimed by some to be a cure for cancer. This idea came originally from the mistaken belief that sharks themselves do not get … Read more about Shark Cartilage Trials
December 4, 2010 Whale sharks are one of the three living species of filter-feeding shark, along with the basking shark and the megamouth shark. Despite their size - whale sharks can reach 40 feet in length - they subsist on some of the smallest organisms in the sea. These animals must … Read more about Whale Sharks are BIG Eaters!