How Do Scientists Study Sharks?

People have always been interested in sharks because they have been around for a very long time (400 million years!) and they are important for keeping the ocean healthy. But how do scientists study them? In this article, we will talk about how scientists use different ways to learn more about these amazing animals.

Tracking Sharks: Tagging and Acoustic/Satellite Tags

One way scientists study sharks is by using tags to track them. There are two kinds of tags: acoustic tags and satellite tags. Acoustic tags send out a special signal that can be picked up by machines in the ocean. This lets scientists track the sharks as they move around and learn about their behavior.

Satellite tags, on the other hand, are put on the sharks’ back fins and send information to satellites that orbit the earth. This helps scientists keep track of the sharks’ location in real-time, even when they are far away.

Genetic Analysis: DNA Analysis and Biopsy Sampling

Another way scientists study sharks is by looking at their DNA. They can get DNA from the shark’s skin, blood, or poop to learn about the shark’s family and what it eats.

Scientists also use biopsy sampling to take a small piece of the shark’s tissue for studying. They use this method to learn about the shark’s health, what it eats, and whether it is able to have babies.

Underwater Observations: Watching Sharks in Their Natural Habitat

Underwater observations are another way scientists study sharks. They use different tools like scuba diving, underwater cameras, and robots to watch how sharks behave in their natural environment. By doing this, scientists can learn about how sharks hunt, communicate, and react to things around them.

Physiology Studies: Understanding the Internal Workings of Sharks’ Bodies

Lastly, scientists study the inside of a shark’s body through physiology studies. They measure things like the shark’s heart rate, breathing, and how it senses its surroundings. These studies help scientists understand how sharks have adapted to their environment and how they are affected by changes in their habitat.


In summary, studying sharks is important for understanding their place in the ocean and making sure they continue to survive. Scientists use different techniques to learn about sharks, Like tracking them with tags, looking at their DNA, taking samples of their tissue, observing them underwater, and studying their physiology. By doing this, we can learn more about these amazing creatures and work to protect them for the future.