Despite being demonized by popular fiction and movies, sharks are some of the most fascinating and diverse creatures on Earth. Sharks are also among the world’s oldest surviving species. Their earliest ancestors are thought to have swum the seas at least 420 million years ago.
Canada’s coastal waters serve as a permanent or temporary home to nearly 30 shark varieties. The five we’ve chosen to highlight in this issue, designed by Andrew Perro and illustrated by Julius Csotonyi, have their own unique story.
Native to Canadian waters, the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) can grow up to nine metres long on a diet of plankton and other tiny organisms. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has also assessed this species as endangered in the Pacific region and as a special concern in the Atlantic.