August 16, 2012 Featured Article Read More →

Deep sea expedition discovers unusual new shark species

A two-month fishing expedition to the Indian Ocean has turned up hundreds of strange deep-sea sharks, and several are likely new to science.

At least eight new species could be among the fishy haul, said Paul Clerkin, a shark ecology graduate student at California’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

Clerkin joined the commercial fishing venture in March and April of this year, in hopes that the vessel’s massive trawling nets might pluck sharks from the deep sea. He was not disappointed.

False Catshark Pseudotriakis_microdon_1

The sharks were caught as bycatch from depths of approximately 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) from a region of undersea mountains, or seamounts, about a week’s journey south of the island of Mauritius.

Pictures of some of the expeditions finds can be found here – http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/3343-images-weird-deep-sea-sharks.html

Day after day, the ship’s nets brought up dozens of bizarre sharks from the deep – some dainty, some enormous, nearly all of them rare or entirely new species.

"They don’t look like the classic great whites you’ll see on Shark Week," Clerkin said. "I think they’re more interesting."

Among the largest was a false catshark (pictured above), a pointy-faced fish about 10 feet (3 m) long. Although it’s a known species, it’s a notoriously elusive one.

Read the full article here – http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/3344-shark-deep-sea-new-species.html

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