On the Air: October 19, 2014
Manta rays "fly" through the water. Credit: Shiyam ElkCloner, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

If manta rays could pick a retirement home, it probably wouldn’t be Florida. Instead, they’d most likely select the islands of Indonesia, between Australia and Asia. In 2014, that country declared all of its waters — more than two million square miles — to be a manta-ray sanctuary. Capturing or killing the giant fish is banned, but swimming with them is encouraged.

In Print: October 1, 2014
Sand tiger sharks are predators even before they are born. Credit: Tara Haelle, www.tarahaelle.com

Survival of the fittest has been a law of nature since the beginning of life, but sometimes that struggle begins earlier than we might think. For baby sand tiger sharks, the fight literally begins even before they are born.

The female sand tiger has two wombs, but she does not have litters twice as large as other sharks. In fact, she only gives birth to two particularly strong, feisty pups. Newborn sand tiger sharks have keen eyesight and sharp teeth that have already tasted the blood of their siblings – or half siblings.