Winner of Choice Magazine's Outstanding Academic Title award, January 2005! Sharks and their relatives are the subjects of tremendous interest. The public's fascination is influenced by their roles in movies and popular literature, while the media races to cover stories of predators endangering helpless humans. The alarming threat to shark populations is also garnering significant publicity and leading to a worldwide increase in conservation initiatives. Finally, technological advances are impacting every area of shark research and revealing incredible secrets about these mysterious animals. These major factors indicate the need for a timely synthesis of the biology of sharks and their relatives. Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives brings together the latest information on the phylogeny, physiology, behavior, and ecology of sharks and their relatives, the skates, rays, and chimaeras. Written by a "Who's Who" lineup in North American elasmobranch research, this single-source review of elasmobranch fishes presents cohesive and integrated coverage of key topics and discusses technological advances used in modern shark research. The text establishes relationships among the sharks and their relatives that dominate the Chondrichthyes, describes their functions and physiological processes, and examines issues relevant to managing depleted and threatened fisheries. Each of the 19 chapters includes a comprehensive review of the subject with extensive up-to-date citations. This authoritative book provides a synopsis of the current understanding of elasmobranch fishes while identifying gaps in our knowledge to stimulate further study. Its broad coverage and inclusive nature make this an important resource for marine and conservation biologists, fishery scientists, biological oceanographers, zoologists, ecologists, environmental planners, and students.