MOOC: ID sharks with their morphological characteristics (in Greek)

Press Release

Biodiversity GR
– Citizen science conservation organization –

02. July 2019

— — — — — —- — — — — — —

How many times have you seen shark swim (rare sightings in Greece), or have you seen shark photograph in newspapers or social networks, or in the fish farm and wondering what kind of shark species is that?

Of course, if you received an answer from a fisherman or someone else on the road, you probably received the wrong answer. Because almost all sharks in Greece refer to them as Galeus, Dogfish and Sapounades (basking sharks, but it has also the meaning of the sharks that swim in the surface of the sea).

In 43 species found in Greece, not all sharks can be the same and all are named exactly the same (as is natural).

Of course, sharks in 99% of cases we can ID them from their morphological characteristics. That is, the shape, size, color (and other) of the tail, gill openings, fins, etc.

It is not difficult, but it needs education and practice, as the most things we learn in our lives. Such specific training, however, does not exist anywhere. You will learn some things of the morphological characteristics of the sharks if you are a biology student or you have already finished the university as a marine biologist but we assure you that you haven’t learned how to recognize sharks because of their morphological characteristics.

So for months now at the Hellenic Biodiversity Center (BiodiversityGR), we were working on creating our second e-learning course entitled “Identifying sharks with their morphological characteristics” so that each interested citizen, or a biologist, or a taxonomist (who deals with species identification and classification), or fisherman to be able to learn correctly how to recognize the sharks we have in Greece and also know the method of how to recognize the 500+ sharks that we have all over the world.

The lesson contains the following sections:

• External anatomy of the shark
• How do we categorize the species?
• Body of the shark
• Snout – Mouth
• Head
• eyes
• Teeth
• Gill openings
• Dorsal fins
• Pectoral fin
• Pelvic and anal fin
• Tail
• Male or female (gender)?
• Pattern
• Short summary
• Examples of recognition

It also includes exams:

• 20 theoretical questions and

• 15 practice questions where we show you pictures of real sharks that have been recorded in Greece from 2017 to 2019 and you will have to recognize what kind of shark is.

The lesson from July 1 is available at the link:

— — — —


  1. Hello dou you have the course ID sharks whit their morphological characteristics in english language. Thanks

    • Chris Taklis

      Not yet. But we will start to prepare it next week. But not sure when it will be finished, because it has 2 videos in Greek language and needs to be translated or put subtitles.

Leave a Reply