A dorsal fin slicing through ocean waves, jaws bulging with pointed teeth—such images make sharks seem scary. But do these predators pose a real threat to us, or are we more dangerous to them? “Any shark can be dangerous, especially when feeding,” says Margo Schulze of the National Marine Fisheries Service. “But most sharks will avoid people when given the chance.” Schulze and her colleague Michael Bailey are experts on sharks and other marine fishes. “Sharks are the top, or apex predators, of the oceans,” Schulze says. “They play an important ecological role by culling out weak or sick marine species.”
For ten weeks shark experts answered your questions about the ocean’s top predator. Read the answers to some great questions.