What's On These Pages?

Rather than feature spinning logos, animated GIF's, and other such Internet 'bells and whistles', these pages will emphasize significant original content - text and illustrations that you simply cannot get anywhere else.  Anne and I hope you will find this site interesting, useful, and even fun.  We've tried to make all pages clean and quick-loading.  If you notice any problems with slow loading or faulty links, please notify Anne.

Explorations in Shark Evolution

An illustrated exploration of the origin and evolution of sharks from the earliest paleosharks, some 420 million years ago, to the immediate ancestors to modern forms.  Learn how the shark fossil record is studied including how the age of fossils, hundreds of millions of years old. is determined.  Discover the Golden Age of Sharks, during the Carboniferous Period, when all sorts of wonderful and bizarre experiments in shark evolution took place including sharks with 'antlers' and 'brushes' on their heads.  Special attention is paid the order Lamniformes, including the evolution of the modern Great White Shark and it's spectacular giant relative, Megalodon.

Explorations in Shark Diversity

An illustrated journey through all known groups of sharks and rays (collectively termed 'Elasmobranchs').  This section opens with some introductory material about how elasmobranchs are classified and recent changes in shark and ray systematics.  Each major taxonomic group is characterized and defined (usually by easily observed, external characteristics), followed by illustrations and descriptions of that group's most interesting or unusual members.  Special attention is paid the order Lamniformes, a group which includes many of the most famous or otherwise spectacular sharks, including the Sandtiger, threshers, Goblin, and  makos.  Explorations in Shark Diversity is completely cross-referenced with hyperlinks, featuring many branches into selected aspects of elasmobranch biology and behavior.  Bring an appetite for learning and be prepared to follow your interests - this is a site meant to be explored.

Shark Ecology

Sharks have very specific needs which limit where they can live. Tropical sharks simply cannot survive in cold-temperate waters. Where sharks live, and how the make their livings there is explored in this section.

Topics in Shark Biology

Broadnose Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus)A collection of illustrated essays on selected topics in shark biology, such as how and why hammerhead sharks evolved their 'strange' headgear and the predatory strategies of the White Shark.  Many of these essays are fully interlinked with the Explorations in Shark Diversity section, but they can also be enjoyed as stand-alones - or as a different place from which to begin exploring linked topics in the Explorations section.  Most of these essays have previously been published, but - although I had to 'tweak' them here and there to bring them factually up-to-date - I think they've held up remarkably well.  I'm quite proud of them and hope you will find them interesting, enjoyable, and perhaps even useful.

Biology of the Great White Shark

A richly illustrated celebration of everyone's favorite predator.  This section provides handy synopses and "Fast Facts" about the Great White as well as very detailed explorations of its evolution, classification, anatomy, physiology, sensory capabilities, brain and cognition, diet and predatory behavior.  There are also pages on White Shark attacks (including advice on how you can reduce your risk), ecology and conservation, and tips on watching Great White Sharks. The whole section is fully integrated with other parts of the website and punctuated with original artwork, explanatory diagrams, and spectacular MPG movies of Great Whites in action.

Student Resources

Includes practical, experience-based advice on how to become a shark researcher, list opportunities to participate in shark research through the ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research, recommends shark books, and provides detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to draw sharks


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