The scars many whales bear throughout their lives resulting from shark attacks are more than sufficient evidence sharks will have a go if an opportunity arises.
Great white sharks are not normally thought of as social creatures.
Researchers have discovered that great white sharks are more social than previously thought. Using specialized tags, they tracked six sharks and found that some stay close to each other when hunting.
AAP/Charles Darwin University
As authorities grapple with the best way to respond to the tragedy, it’s worth remembering all shark mitigation measures come with both merits and drawbacks – and none is a silver bullet.
Elias Levy/Wikimedia Commons
The death of 57-year-old Paul Millachip at Fremantle’s Port Beach is a reminder that shark bites, though rare, can be tragic. New research aims to reduce the risk by understanding sharks’ vision.
Female elephant seals take seven-month feeding trips during which they balance danger, starvation and exhaustion.
By measuring how and when elephant seals sleep, researchers were able to figure out how elephant seals change their risk-taking behavior as they gain weight.
You’re more likely to drown at a beach than be killed by a shark. But there are things people can do to reduce the already low risk even further.
It’s OK, I’m a filter feeder: Whale shark off Indonesia.
Media coverage of sharks often exaggerates risks to people, but more than 500 shark species have never been known to attack humans, and there’s lots to learn about them.
Scalloped hammerhead entangled in a Queensland shark control net at Magnetic Island, Townsville.
Courtesy of Nicole McLachlan
Some media have reported shark numbers at ‘plague proportions’ in Australian waters. But a new analysis suggests the opposite: species such as hammerheads and white sharks have plummeted in number.
A white shark attacks a seal.
Dave van Beuningen
If sharks habitats aren’t known, it’s harder to conserve either the animals or those habitats.
The CSIRO has provided new estimates of population sizes for White Sharks in Australian waters.
How many shark encounters have there been at your local beach? Explore our interactive map to see 20 years of incidents between humans and sharks in coastal waters around Australia.
White sharks’ ability to stay warm in cold water makes them efficient long-range hunters.
Fatal shark bites are very rare. But the stats do suggest that the likelihood of an attack proving fatal is higher in Australia - probably because our waters are home to the “big three” dangerous species.
Hey, what about us? Whale shark (spotted) and manta ray, a close shark relative.
As the Discovery Channel and National Geographic Wild unleash a week of dueling shark programs, a biologist advises viewers to take what they see with a large grain of sea salt.
A shark’s nose is chemosensory only, and it doesn’t join up to the back of the throat like ours does.
Sharks can’t sneeze like we do, but they can do other cool tricks – like making their stomach stick out of their mouth to get rid of unwanted stuff.
Shelly Beach near Ballina, one of the new shark net locations, was the scene of a fatal shark attack in February 2015.
Shark nets are controversial, which is why the New South Wales government is investigating a host of other ways to keep humans and sharks apart – some more tried and tested than others.
Mako sharks look fearsome, but they eat fish not people.
Alessandro De Maddalena / shutterstock
If you do see a shark this summer, don’t panic – you just got lucky.
Monitoring white sharks more closely could help to ensure better conservation measures are put in place.
Dr Sara Andreotti (c) www.sharkdivingunlimited.com
South Africa’s white shark population faced a rapid decline in the last generation. More concerning is that their numbers might already be too low to ensure their survival.
An electric field could help avoid getting any closer than this.
Independent tests show that a wearable electric deterrent called a Shark Shield does indeed seem to live up to its name.
Loving our monsters? We’ll learn more by researching sharks than by kiling them.
The best way to guard against shark attacks is to study them, not kill them. Because while the alleged “shark boom” almost certainly not real, the more we know about sharks, the better.
Choosing to swim or surf at a beach with shark spotters or lifeguards may save you a limb or your life.
Glencairn Leigh de Necker
Despite low shark attack numbers, many people are afraid of being bitten. There are, however, ways to steer clear of these creatures.
Great white sharks in South Africa have extremely low genetic diversity compared with shark populations elsewhere in the world.
South African sharks have low levels of genetic diversity. This could pose a threat to their survival as a species.