17 amazing and important things about sharks and rays that scientists discovered in 2017

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2017 was… yeah. Of all the years I’ve lived through, 2017 was definitely one of them. Anyway, some interesting things happened in the world of shark research. Here, in no particular order, are 17 amazing and important things that scientists discovered about sharks and rays over the last year.

1. Sharks can switch between sexual and asexual reproduction.

We’ve known that several shark species can reproduce asexually for over a decade now, but this year, Dudgeon and friends showed an individual shark switching between sexual and asexual reproduction for the first time! amazing things, amazing things, amazing things

2. Sharks can expel foreign objects right through their body wall.

This study by Kessel and friends showed that over the course of months, an individual shark expelled a small metal object it had ingested right through the side of its body wall, and then healed completely.

amazing things, amazing things, amazing things

From Kessel and Friends 2017 Observations taken on 13 February 2016 show both the stringer’s free end, which popped out of the ventral (under) side of the body, and the initial structure protruding on the right. Images: Joanne Fraser, Kessel et al./Marine and Freshwater Research

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