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7 Unanswered questions about sharks

7 Unanswered questions about sharks

Sharks are iconic creatures, but researchers know remarkably little about them. For instance, although scientists know of more than 400 shark species, many of these big fish fare poorly in captivity, making it difficult to observe their mating, navigational, learning and social (or anti-social) behavior. Here are seven mysteries that scientists have yet to solve about sharks.

1. How do sharks navigate?

A great white shark. (Image credit: Getty Images/Stephen Frink)

The open ocean has few visual cues, so how do sharks know where they’re going? Some sharks travel great distances, such as the great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) that swim across the Indian Ocean, from the west coast of Australia to South Africa, said Andrew Nosal, a marine biologist and shark scientist at University of San Diego.

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