Study species

Carcharhinus leucas, Rhincodon typus and Echeneis naucrates

Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas)
The bull shark is a large, massive, thick-headed greyish shark with a very short, broad, bluntly-rounded snout and small eyes. It has large pectoral fins and a broad triangular first dorsal fin. Bull sharks can be found world-wide in tropical and subtropical seas usually close inshore in shallow water to +200 m in lagoons, bays, river mouths, passages between islands and along surf lines but also many 100 km upstream in rivers and freshwater lakes. A list of scientific papers that have been published about bull sharks can be found here.

Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)
The whale shark is the largest living fish species characterised by a sreamlined body and a depressed, broad, and flattened head. It has a unique "checkerboard" colour pattern of light spots and stripes on a dark background. Whale sharks feed on a wide variety of planktonic and nektonic prey, such as small crustaceans using an active suction filter-feeding method. The whale shark has a very widespread distribution, occurring in all tropical and warm temperate seas, except in the Mediterranean. They are often found at or near the water surface in very shallow costal habitat.

Sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates)
Remora or diskfish species can be found on a wide variety of hosts including teleost fishes, marine mammals, turtles, sharks, and even conspecifics. This relationship is widely known, but the costs and benefits of this interaction for the remoras and their hosts remain poorly understood. The unique suction disk of the remoras and its performance would largely define the interactions with their hosts. However, the relation between a remora and its host seems to differ for each echeneid species.