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The sharks portal

Welcome to the shark portal!
Welcome to the shark portal!

Sharks (superorder Selachimorpha) are a group of fish species with a full cartilaginous skeleton. There are over 400 extant species of shark, as well as numerous extinct species known from recovered teeth and bones. Due partially to fear of shark attack, sharks often feature heavily in popular culture.

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A wild Australian swellshark
The Australian swellshark or draughtboard shark, Cephaloscyllium laticeps, is a species of catshark, family Scyliorhinidae, endemic to southern Australia. This bottom-dwelling species can be found on the continental shelf down to a depth of 220 m (720 ft). Usually measuring 1 m (3 ft) long, it is a stout-bodied, broad-headed shark with a short tail and a first dorsal fin much larger than the second. It can be identified by its variegated dorsal coloration of brown or gray patches and numerous spots.

Australian swellsharks are sedentary and mainly nocturnal, with most individuals remaining within the same local area throughout the year. It feeds on small crustaceans, cephalopods, and fishes. When threatened, it responds by rapidly taking in water or air to inflate its body, hence the name "swellshark". This shark is oviparous and females lay pairs of distinctively ridged egg capsules at 20–30 day intervals. The eggs hatch after 11–12 months. Harmless and of little commercial interest, many Australian swellsharks are caught incidentally in gillnets and bottom trawls but usually survive to be released because of their extreme hardiness. As a result, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed this species as of Least Concern.


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Isurus oxyrinchus Machoire.jpg
Credit: Didier Descouens
The jaw of a shortfin mako shark. The species feeds mainly upon cephalopods, bony fishes including mackerel, tuna, bonito, and swordfish, but it may also eat other sharks, porpoises, sea turtles, and seabirds.

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Shark · Outline of sharks

Shark orders
Carcharhiniformes (groundsharks) · Cladoselachiformes (extinct) · Eugeneodontida (extinct) · Heterodontiformes (bullhead sharks) · Hexanchiformes (most primitive sharks) · Hybodontiformes (extinct) · Iniopterygia (extinct) · Lamniformes (mackerel sharks) · Orectolobiformes (carpet sharks and relatives) · Pristiophoriformes (sawsharks and relatives) · Squaliformes (gulper sharks, bramble sharks, lantern sharks, rough sharks, sleeper sharks, dogfish sharks and relatives) · Squatiniformes (angel sharks) · Symmoriida (extinct) · Xenacanthida (also known as Xenacantiformes, extinct)

Major species
Basking shark · Blue shark · Bull shark · Great hammerhead · Great white shark · Grey reef shark · Hammerhead shark · Megalodon · Megamouth shark · Nurse shark · Oceanic whitetip shark · Requiem shark · Scalloped hammerhead · Shortfin mako shark · Swellshark · Thresher shark · Tiger shark · Whale shark

Shark biology
Ampullae of Lorenzini · Mermaid's purses · Physical characteristics of sharks · Shark teeth · Shark threat display

Shark-human interaction
Attack (drum lines, International Shark Attack File, Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, list of fatal, unprovoked shark attacks in the United States, shark net, shark proof cage, shark suit, Summer of the Shark· Captivity (shark tunnel· Conservation (grey nurse shark conservation, Shark Alliance, Shark Conservation Act, Shark Trust· Fishing (International Land-Based Shark Fishing Association, land-based shark fishing· Products (shark cartilage, shark finning, shark fin soup, shark liver oil)

Related portals


Sharks on Wiktionary     Sharks on Wikimedia Commons     Sharks on Wikispecies    
Definitions Images & Media Species directory