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The Biology of Sharks and Rays


By: A Peter Klimley(Author), Steven Oerding(Illustrator)

512 pages, 57 colour plates, 87 b/w photos, 103 b/w illustrations, 12 tables

University of Chicago Press

1 customer review
Hardback | Jul 2013 | #202970 | ISBN-13: 9780226442495
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £32.50 $41/€36 approx

About this book

The Biology of Sharks and Rays is a comprehensive resource on the biological and physiological characteristics of the cartilaginous fishes: sharks, rays, and chimaeras. In sixteen chapters, organized by theme, A. Peter Klimley covers a broad spectrum of topics, including taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and physiology. For example, he explains the body design of sharks and why the ridged, toothlike denticles that cover their entire bodies are present on only part of the rays' bodies and are absent from those of chimaeras. Another chapter explores the anatomy of the jaws and the role of the muscles and teeth in jaw extension, seizure, and handling of prey. The chapters are richly illustrated with pictures of sharks, diagrams of sensory organs, drawings of the body postures of sharks during threat and reproductive displays, and maps showing the extent of the species' foraging range and long-distance migrations. Each chapter commences with an anecdote from the author about his own personal experience with the topic, followed by thought-provoking questions and a list of recommended readings in the scientific literature.

The Biology of Sharks and Rays will be a useful textbook for advanced ichthyology students as well as an encyclopedic source for those seeking a greater understanding of these fascinating creatures.

"A. Peter Klimley has been studying the biology of sharks for decades. In this book, he combines this extensive research experience with that of others to produce a solid reference for every shark enthusiast."
- Gregory Skomal, The Shark Handbook: The Essential Guide for Understanding the Sharks of the World


1. An Introduction to the Cartilaginous Fishes
2. Evolutionary History
3. Body Design and Swimming Modes
4. Water and Ionic Regulation
5. Warming of the Body
6. Sense of Smell: Chemoreception
7. Sense of Hearing: Mechanoreception
8. Sense of Sight: Photoreception
9. Sense of Magnetic Fields: Electroreception / Magnetoreception
10. Brain Organization and Intelligence
11. Courtship and Reproduction
12. Feeding Behavior and Biomechanics
13. Diet and Growth
14. Daily Movements, Home Range, and Migration
15. Cartilaginous Fishes and Humans
16. Fisheries and Conservation

Reviews (1)

Finally, just what the Doctor (Hammerhead) ordered
By Gordo 5 Jan 2014 Written for Hardback

As a shark scientist and educator, I'm overjoyed to finally have a book like this at my disposal and so grateful that someone put in all the time, effort, and patience with a publisher to put together all the information and references contained herein in one organized and easy to use book. It has already made my own writing and citing go much quicker! The information in the book cites real journal articles in a very smooth format that professionals can use, but doesn't get too technical for someone just starting to learn about sharks. There are some pretty exciting tales included too. It is "the standard" for shark biology and even good enough to use as the textbook to teach ichthyology (my students thought so) and also as the main book for marine biology classes. It is that useful! THE essential book for all interested in sharks.

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A. Peter Klimley is adjunct professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation and director of the Biotelemetry Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of The Secret Life of Sharks.

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