Hoping to inspire a freeze on shark hunting, Australia's Melbourne Aquarium has put a 15-foot (4.5-meter) great hammerhead shark (pictured July 12) on ice.
Reproducing only once every two years, the species is especially vulnerable to overfishing and has been designated endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, meaning the great hammerhead faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
Commercial fishers accidentally caught the now frozen fish off Australia in March 2010, illustrating a key threat to sharks today. Off Africa alone, for example, more than eight million sharks are accidentally killed each year, experts reported in 2007.
Why We Love It
"The subdued palette lets the shark's personality shine through."—Chris Combs, news photo editor
"The angle and lighting of this photo make something already bizarre even stranger. Is it a shark or an alien life-form?"—Monica C. Corcoran, senior photo editor
Pictures We Love: Best of July
Slimy seas, stormy skies, a bull's ear—National Geographic photo editors eye the month's best new pictures and find ten favorites.