Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives  book cover
3rd Edition

Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives

ISBN 9780367861179
Published June 9, 2022 by CRC Press
840 Pages 159 Color & 60 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $120.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives is an award-winning and groundbreaking exploration of the fundamental elements of the taxonomy, systematics, physiology, and ecology of sharks, skates, rays, and chimera. This edition presents current research as well as traditional models, to provide future researchers with solid historical foundations in shark research as well as presenting current trends from which to develop new frontiers in their own work. 

Traditional areas of study such as age and growth, reproduction, taxonomy and systematics, sensory biology, and ecology are updated with contemporary research that incorporates emerging techniques including molecular genetics, exploratory techniques in artificial insemination, and the rapidly expanding fields of satellite tracking, remote sensing, accelerometry, and imaging.

With two new editors and 90 contributors from the US, UK, South Africa, Portugal, France, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India, Palau, United Arab Emirates, Micronesia, Sweden, Argentina, Indonesia, Cameroon, and the Netherlands, this third edition is the most global and comprehensive yet. It adds six new chapters representing extensive studies of health, stress, disease and pathology, and social structure, and continues to explore elasmobranch ecological roles and interactions with their habitats. The book concludes with a comprehensive review of conservation policies, management, and strategies, as well as consideration of the potential effects of impending climate change.

Presenting cohesive and integrated coverage of key topics and discussing technological advances used in modern shark research, this revised edition offers a well-rounded picture for students and researchers.

Table of Contents

1 Bridging the Gap Between Chondrichthyan Paleobiology and Biology

Lisa B. Whitenack, Sora L. Kim, and Elizabeth C. Sibert

2 Taxonomy and Diversity of Extant Elasmobranchs

William T. White, Helen O’Neill, and Gavin J.P. Naylor

3 How to Build a Shark: Biomechanics and Bioinspiration

E.W. Misty Paig-Tran, Marianne E. Porter, Lara A. Ferry, and Lisa B. Whitenack

4 Advances in Chondrichthyan Neurobiology

Kara E. Yopak

5 Advances in the Sensory Biology of Elasmobranchs

Tricia L. Meredith, Stephen M. Kajiura, Kyle C. Newton, Timothy C. Tricas, and Christine N. Bedore

6 Understanding Age and Growth of Chondrichthyan Fishes

Alastair V Harry, Jonathan J. Smart, and Sebastián A. Pardo

7 Elasmobranch Mating Systems

Aletta Bester-van der Merwe, Kady Lyons, Dovi Kacev, and Kevin Feldheim

8 Molecular Aspects of Elasmobranch Reproduction and Artificial Insemination

Jennifer T. Wyffels and Linda M. Penfold

9 Selected Topics in the Developmental Biology of Chondrichthyan Fishes

Carl A. Luer and Jennifer T. Wyffels

10 Physiological and Applied Energetics of Elasmobranch Fishes

Adrian C. Gleiss, Jason R. Treberg, Evan E. Byrnes, and Karissa O. Lear

11 Elasmobranch Foraging Strategies and Tactics of Elasmobranchs

Samantha Munroe, Lauren Meyer, and Michael R. Heithaus

12 Advances in Methods, Understanding, and Applications of Elasmobranch Movement Ecology

Christopher G. Mull, Samantha Andrzejaczek, Vinay Udyawer, and Ross G. Dwyer

13 Stress Responses, Health, and Diseases of Elasmobranchs

Joanna Borucinska and Gregory Skomal

14 Elasmobranch Health, Pathology and the Host Microbiome

Alisa L. Newton and Kim B. Ritchie

15 Advances in Our Understanding of the Ecological Importance of Sharks and Their Relatives

Michael R. Heithaus, Ruth E. Dunn, N. Frances Farabaugh, E. Lester, E. Madin, M. Meekan, Y. P. Papastamatiou, G. Roff, J. J. Vaudo, and A. J. Wirsing

16 Population Structure and Connectivity of Chondrichthyans

Madeline E. Green, Colin A. Simpfendorfer, and Floriaan Devloo-Delva

17 Shark and Ray Social Lives: Form, Function, and Ecological Significance of Associations and Grouping

Yannis P. Papastamatiou, Johann Mourier, Catarina Vila Pouca, Tristan Guttridge, and David M.P. Jacoby

18 Freshwater and Euryhaline Elasmobranchs

Peter M. Kyne and Luis O. Lucifora

19 Deepwater Chondrichthyans

Brittany Finucci, Charles F. Cotton, R. Dean Grubbs, K.K. Bineesh, and Teresa Moura

20 The Elasmobranchs of Coral Reefs

Demian D. Chapman, M. Aaron MacNeil, Michelle R. Heupel, Mark Meekan, Euan S. Harvey, Colin A. Simpfendorfer, and Michael R. Heithaus

21 Conservation Science for Sharks and Rays

Lindsay N.K. Davidson, Vanessa F. Jaiteh, Andrew Chin, Rima W. Jabado, Leontine Baje, Daniel Fernando, David E. Sabadin, Benaya M. Simeon, and Alex Tamo

22 Elasmobranch Conservation Policy: Progress and Priorities

Sonja V. Fordham, Julia M. Lawson, Olga Koubrak, and Melissa R. Cronin

23 Guiding Random Acts of Kindness: Conservation Planning for Sharks and Rays

Nicholas K. Dulvy and Colin A. Simpfendorfer

24 Strategies to Reduce Fisheries Bycatch Mortality in Chondrichthyans

John W. Mandelman, Jeffrey R. Kneebone, Alexia Morgan, Jefferson Murua, and Emily Jones

25 Climate Change and Sharks

Jodie L. Rummer, Ian A. Bouyoucos, Carolyn Wheeler, Catarina Santos, and Rui Rosa


View More



Jeffrey C. Carrier, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Albion College (MI) where he was a faculty member from 1979 to 2010. He earned a B.S. in Biology in 1970 from the University of Miami and completed a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Miami in 1974. While at Albion College, Dr. Carrier received multiple awards for teaching and scholarship and held Endowed Professorships in Biology. His primary research interests center on various aspects of the physiology and ecology of nurse sharks in the Florida Keys. His most recent work has investigated the reproductive biology and mating behaviors of this species in a long-term study from an isolated region of the Florida Keys. Dr. Carrier has been a long-time member of the American Elasmobranch Society, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Sigma Xi, the Society for Animal Behavior, and the Council on Undergraduate Research. He served multiple terms as President of the American Elasmobranch Society and received several distinguished service awards from the society. He holds an appointment as an Adjunct Research Scientist with Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research. In addition to his publications in the scientific literature, he has written and edited six previously published books on sharks and their biology, and numerous articles in the popular press.

Colin Simpfendorfer, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Professor in the College of Science and Engineering at James Cook University and Institute of Marine and Antarctic Science at the University of Tasmania. He has also worked at in the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory (Florida) and the Shark Fisheries Section of the Western Australian Department of Fisheries (Perth, Australia). He received his BSc. (Marine Biology and Zoology) in 1986, and Ph.D. (Fisheries Science) in 1993, both from James Cook University. He has spent his career studying the life history, ecology, status and conservation of sharks and rays with the principle aim of providing scientific information for improving their management. He regularly provides scientific advice to governments, NGOs and industry. Dr. Simpfendorfer is an author on over 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers on sharks and rays, and has trained more than 30 MSc and Ph.D. students (some of which have authored or co-authored chapters in this book). He was Co-Chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group from 2012 to 2020, working to improve the conservation status of this important group of ocean predators through assessing their status, developing conservation plans and delivering quality scientific information to decision makers. He also serves on many national and international committees, including Australia’s national Threatened Species Scientific Committee.


Michael R. Heithaus, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences & Education at Florida International University in Miami, FL where he has been a faculty member since 2003. He received his B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College (1995) in Ohio and his Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University (2001) in British Columbia, Canada. He was a postdoctoral scientist and staff scientist at the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory and also served as a research fellow at the National Geographic Society’s Remote Imaging Department. At FIU, Dr. Heithaus served as the Director of the Marine Sciences Program before becoming the Director of the School of Environment, Arts, and Society. Dr. Heithaus is a behavioral and community ecologist. His main research interests are in understanding the ecological roles and importance of large predators, especially their potential to impact community structure through non-consumptive effects. His work also explores the factors influencing behavioral decisions, especially of large marine taxa including marine mammals, sharks and rays, and sea turtles, and the importance of individual variation in behavior in shaping ecological interactions. Dr. Heithaus is the co-lead of the Global FinPrint project - a world-wide survey of elasmobranchs on coral reefs. His lab is engaged in marine conservation and research projects around the world and has ongoing long-term projects in Shark Bay, Australia and the coastal Everglades of southwest Florida. Dr Heithaus is an author on over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters. He is a member of the Inaugural Board of the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida.

Kara E. Yopak, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). Dr. Yopak received her B.A. from Boston University (Biology with a specialization in marine science) in 2002 and completed her Ph.D. (Sensory Neuroethology) at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) in 2007. She was a postdoctoral scientist at the University of California San Diego and later a Research Assistant Professor the University of Western Australia (Perth). She is currently Director of the UNCW ZoMBiE Lab (Zootomical Morphology of the Brain and its Evolution;, whose research focuses on the evolution of the brain within and across cartilaginous fishes, particularly the ways in which variation in brain size, structure, and cellular composition underlies complex behaviors and sensory specialization. Dr. Yopak and her students use novel techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT & m CT), and flow cytometry, in conjunction with traditional neuroanatomical methods to explore the processes driving brain evolution in this unique group of fishes. Her current collection of fish nervous system tissue comprises over 1000 specimens (and counting!). Dr. Yopak is a longtime member of the American Elasmobranch Society (for which she serves a number of administrative roles, including several terms on the Board of Directors), as well as the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, and the JB Johnston Club for Evolutionary Neuroscience. She is currently Co-Editor of the journal Brain, Behavior and Evolution and is a proud mentor for the Gills Club, a signature action by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, which encourages young girls with a passion for shark biology. Dr. Yopak has contributed to chapters in previous Editions of this book as an author.


With this third edition of the information-packed series The Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives, editors Carrier et al. have again recruited leading researchers in the field to provide the latest technical information in elasmobranch science. Once characterized as perhaps the least understood group of vertebrates, sharks and their relatives have come under intense study over the past five decades, culminating in the extensive knowledge presented in this volume. From more traditional topics in elasmobranch biology to the timely issues of conservation and climate change, this book shows we can no longer say that sharks are poorly understood. Clearly, our field has come a long way, and it's all here in this comprehensive reference.

Dr Robert E. Hueter, Senior Scientist Emeritus, Mote Marine Laboratory and OCEARCH Chief Scientist, USA

One could not hope for a more comprehensive presentation of current research in traditional and contemporary areas of study pertaining to sharks and their relatives. I anticipate that every student of this fascinating group of animals, no matter the stage of their career, will want to own this book.

Dr Sheldon Dudley, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Cape Town, South Africa

This is the premier book on the biology of sharks and their relatives. The editors have gathered the world’s top experts on each topic to provide comprehensive insights into the diversity, lives, and conservation of this fascinating group. The book covers the sharks living in habitats from the Amazon River, to coral reefs, down to the abyssal plains, while also reviewing, updating, and setting future research directions across many fields of study, from paleontology to neurobiology. The chapters are clearly presented to provide an entry point for students, naturalists, or other people that are interested in these amazing species, and will be the go-to resource for shark researchers for years to come.

Dr Simon J. Pierce, co-founder and Principal Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Foundation, USA


Whether you are a scientist, policymaker, or advocate, The Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives, is essential reading. Beginning with a review of the evolutionary history of Chondrichthyans, followed by an examination of their biology, physiology, ecology, and conservation policies and ending with a review of the impacts of climate change, this book should be the first stop in the search for answers to the threats facing these critically important animals.

Lee Crockett, Executive Director of the Shark Conservation Fund, USA