Blogs & Videos: Sharks

Shark Fin CSI

Every year millions of sharks are slaughtered for their fins. The Field has developed new methods to identify some of these sharks to better enforce laws and help end the illegal trade. Science FTW! ------------------- Producer, Writer, Creator, Host: Emily Graslie   Producer, Editor, Camera, Archive: Tom McNamara   Theme music: Michael Aranda    Created By:  Hank Green    Production Assistant: Katie Kirby ------------------  

Fossil Sharks

Wherein we take an adventure into the deep oceans of history in pursuit of fossilized sharks.  Shout-out to Bill Simpson for his help in the production of this video and lending us the fossilized shark specimens for the shoot! We want to thank Ray Troll (http://www.trollart.com/) for generously allowing us to incorporate his incredible illustrations in this video! 

Why Sharks?

Welcome to five consecutive calendar days dedicated to programming about everyone's favorite cartilaginous fishes: the sharks!  Special thanks to David Shiffman (@whysharksmatter) for his help, support, advice, and fun facts about sharks! Additional thanks to Joe Hanson (itsokaytobesmart) and the folks at PBS Digital Studios for helping to put this great series together. :) 

Sharks and Soup

From the salt-cured fish eggs of caviar to snails roasted in garlic, the human race has come up with many strange delicacies, some of which are offered locally.  In fact, Chicago’s Chinatown is famous for offering products derived from dried shark fins, such as shark fin soup – a broth delicacy containing fibers of cartilage from shark fins.  Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding shark fin soup has little to do with its texture – several of the shark species from which the fins come are endangered or vulnerable, raising questions about their conservation.

Shark Sense

Scientists are finding that some animals have a sense of where they came from – a homing device of sorts – and often return to their birthplace later in life.  You may be familiar with this behavior in salmon; the migration of salmon from the ocean to their freshwater spawning habitat is one of the most extreme in the animal kingdom!  This behavior is termed “natal philopatry”, which refers to animals returning to their own birthplace to give birth to their young.  In the marine world, natal philopatry has been documented in salmon, seals, and some sea turtles; but for the first time, the phenomenon has been recognized in lemon sharks. 

Shark Genetic Conservation Student Video

This video was created by the 2011 DNA Residency Team Shark, Tom Champion (educator, Naperville North), Griffin Harris (student, New Trier High), and Prahi Thirkateh (Naperville North High).  They outline population bottlenecks and discuss the problems that changes in population size might be for the conservation of sharks.