Sharks of the World

Bookshelf: Sharks of the World

Sharks of the World – Leonard Compagno, Marc Dando & Sarah Fowler

Sharks of the World
Sharks of the World

Given the large number of shark species that can be seen in the Cape waters (great whites, sevengill cowsharks, shysharks, catsharks…), this is a handy and much needed guide for the local diver, as well as for shark enthusiasts in general. Apart from giving an overview of the bewildering array of shark species, this book is well put together, comprehensive, and equipped with all sorts of extras that make it as useful as Roberts Bird Guide to a birder.

Colour plates show beautiful paintings of each shark species, with black and white drawings in the accompanying text showing teeth, head shape, and front or underneath view of the mouth to assist with identification. Distribution maps are included, as well as size, behaviour and reproductive information (often sadly inadequate, showing how little is known about most shark species).

There’s a guide for measuring and identifying new shark species, a full index of Latin and common names, and a checklist for marking off the species you’ve spotted. The general introductory section at the beginning describes shark physiology and reproduction in general terms, as well as the threats to sharks from human activity.

The copy of this book we own is small – less than A5 sized – and thus perfect for putting in one’s luggage or carrying about as a reference guide. We have heard Sarah Fowler speak at Save Our Seas Shark Centre and were impressed by her humility and experience. Leonard Compagno is a world renowned shark expert who works at the Shark Research Centre based at the Iziko Museum in Cape Town and this volume is a high quality addition to any shark lover’s library.

Buy a copy here. Also check out the updated edition!

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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