Publishing 12 times a year. ISSN 0006-3568.
A great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran), an apex predator and a fascinating case study of evolution, cruises a reef in Bimini, Bahamas. Like many large sharks, great hammerheads exhibit life-history characteristics that render them sensitive to overfishing, such as slow growth and low reproductive rates.
In their Forum article "Evolved for Extinction: The Cost and Conservation Implications of Specialization in Hammerhead Sharks," Austin Gallagher and his colleagues argue that the suite of specialized characteristics exhibited throughout the hammerhead shark family may place those species at a disproportionately high risk of extinction. Gallagher and his colleagues suggest that future conservation efforts and management of these and other highly specialized species should be made in the light of their evolutionary history and unusual traits. Photograph: Austin Gallagher.
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