Agile, sleek, and precise, sharks display many qualities we can admire and appreciate. These marvels of evolution have adapted to thrive in every major aquatic realm on the planet, from frigid Arctic waters through temperate but stormy seas and on into the tropics. However, few places on Earth are home to the amazing diversity of shark species that beautify the shallow waters of Florida and the Bahamas. In this first-ever book dedicated to the sharks of this region, biologist Jeffrey C. Carrier reveals the captivating lives of these large marine predators and describes how they have survived for over 400 million years.
Guiding readers through basic biology, key attributes, and identification tips, the book explores what makes sharks such successful apex predators. Carrier explains fascinating phenomena, including the reason for the bizarre shape of the hammerhead, how a bull shark is able to swim hundreds of miles up freshwater rivers, what lies behind sharks' remarkable capability to learn and remember, and why many scientists believe that they are equipped with the most sophisticated sensory systems in the animal kingdom.
With the stunning full-color underwater photography of Andy Murch, Jillian Morris, and Duncan Brake, Sharks of the Shallows brings boaters, fishers, divers, and shark lovers directly alongside these unfairly maligned creatures. And not a moment too soon! Sharks are experiencing stresses unlike any in their long history, and are struggling to survive in a changing ocean. They will continue to grace our coastlines only if we care enough to understand them.
Jeffrey C. Carrier is professor emeritus of biology at Albion College and an adjunct research scientist with Mote Marine Laboratory. He is the senior coeditor of Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives and Sharks and Their Relatives II: Biodiversity, Adaptive Physiology, and Conservation. Andy Murch, the founder of Big Fish Expeditions, is a shark conservationist and photographer. Jillian Morris, the founder of Sharks4Kids, is a shark conservationist, photographer, and videographer. Duncan Brake, the founder of Oceanicallstars, is a photographer and Emmy-nominated cinematographer.