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Sharkpedia

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Welcome to the Atlantic Shark Institute's Sharkpedia! Here you can explore some of the sharks that we research and encounter during our studies here in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. 

Hopefully it allows you to learn a little more about the unique elements of each species and what questions we are trying to answer.

Shortfin Mako

Shortfin Mako

Isurus oxyrinchus

White Shark

White Shark

Carcharodon carcharias

Porbeagle Shark

Porbeagle Shark

Lamna nasus

Spinner Shark

Spinner Shark

Carcharhinus brevipinna

Blacktip Shark

Blacktip Shark

Carcharhinus limbatus

Common Thresher

Common Thresher

Alopias vulpinus

Blue Shark

Blue Shark

Prionace glauca

Smooth Dogfish

Smooth Dogfish

Mustelus canis

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Identifying Sharks

Shark identification can be tricky but is far from impossible. Scientists examine sharks by their coloration, size, but most importantly, their fins. Shark fins vary greatly in shape, size, color and placement on the sharks body and examining them can give you clues to identifying the species. 
 

Below is a chart showcasing some of the terms used to note shark fins. Note the total length and the fork length. Fork length refers to the shark's length from snout to the vertex of the caudal (tail) fin. Total length is measured from the snout to the end of the tail fin. This can help when measuring sharks with extremely long tails (such as thresher shark species). 

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Range Maps

Range maps help viewers and scientists examine the total "spread" of the species across the world. Range dictates if the shark species is present in the area.

 

With the changing climates, scientists are noticing that range maps are changing as sharks adjust their placement with the ocean's rising temperatures. Most of the range maps you will see in this guide are sources from the IUCN

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Shark Research

The Atlantic Shark Institute is part of many different shark surveys and studies, some of which are collaborative with other institutions. 

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