One-quarter of sharks and rays at risk of extinction

January 21, 2014 6:51 PM

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One-quarter of sharks and rays at risk of extinction

A quarter of the world's sharks and rays are at risk of extinction, according to a new assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The latest update to the IUCN's "Red List" of threatened species, which found ray species to be at higher risk than sharks, is part of a first-ever global analysis of these marine species.

Researchers assessed the conservation status of 1,041 shark, ray and chimaera species, which are all so-called "cartilaginous fish," meaning they have skeletons made of cartilage rather than bone. A chimaera is type of jawed fish closely related to sharks and rays.

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