Sunday, March 11, 2012

New shark species from the Galapagos

Distinctive species spotted in the field

 Many discoveries these days come from examining old museums and other resources to restudy old type specimens.  This is important, but, let's face it, boring compared to spotting something new and distinctive in the wild.  That's where John McCosker and Carole Baldwin sighted and caught the first specimens of this new catshark.  All specimens obtained sop far are juveniles less than half a meter long. Larger adults were seen but proved elusive.  The animal is a bottom-dweller with very sharp teeth and, to judge from the photos, a handsome spotted appearance with a mostly-olive background. 

COMMENT: This is a well-explored area - or so we thought.   But the vast majority of the ocean floor isn't explored at all, just mapped by sonar.  There are more sharks out there - and who knows what else?

Well, there is this new sea snake from Australia....

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