Sunday, 6 May 2012

New shark species found in RAK

DUBAI // A marine biologist hopes she may soon be lending her name to a new species of shark she discovered in UAE waters.



Rima Jabado, who for the past two years has been cataloguing shark species in the Emirates' waters, recently found the fish at a landing site in Ras Al Khaimah.
She said her curiosity was sparked by subtle differences in the teeth and the shape of the sharks' mouths.
"They are smaller sharks, similar to the milk sharks," Ms Jabado said. "They don't grow very big. I found very few of them but they just looked slightly different."
She has been conducting her own genetic analysis of the sharks, which are less than 70 centimetres long, and has sent pictures to various taxonomists around the world.
Ms Jabado, a Lebanese-born Canadian, said she could only be sure one of the two shark species she found was entirely new to science, but verification would have to be done by taxonomists around the world.
"I'm not the one to confirm this," she said. "It needs to go to specialist taxonomists around the world and we need to do genetic work before we can confirm it. It can take sometimes two to three years to describe a new species."

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