Topics in Shark Biology


Of all aspects of shark biology, behavior is perhaps the most fascinating.  The essays collected here explore what sharks do and why they do it.

Distribution and Ecology

Where sharks live is shaped by their body form and feeding capabilities.  The essays in this section explore aspects of how and why sharks live where they do.


Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran)Sharks and rays are incredibly diverse, embracing an astonishing variety of forms and lifestyles.  Essays collected here explore selected vignettes of this fascinating topic.

Life History

How sharks earn a living in the sea is explored in this section, with particular emphasis on feeding and reproductive biology.

Name Games

Scientific and vernacular names are conceptual 'handles' for making sense about the natural world.  Although changes in usage may frustrate, they often point to some fascinating but little-known histories.  Selected name histories are explored in this section.


Stripped of jargon, shark physiology is accessible and fascinating.  The essays collected here explore the elegant ways in which sharks solve environmental challenges.


Everyone loves extremes the biggest, the smallest, the fastest, and so on.  The essays collected here explore record-breakers among sharks and rays.


As dire threats to human life and limb go, sharks and stingrays are among the least of our worries.  But there is no denying that we share a morbid curiosity about shark attack and stingray envenomations.  Here's what you need to know to reduce your risk even further.

Sensory Biology

The sensory capabilities of sharks dwarf our own, often staggering the imagination.  Sharks experience sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and special senses completely alien to our experience.  How sharks detect and respond to environmental cues is explored in this section.


ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research
Text and illustrations R. Aidan Martin
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