Saturday 26 December 2015

This weird, newly discovered ninja lanternshark glows in the dark

DECEMBER 24, 2015

by Brian Galloway
The ocean is a scary place full of unknown creatures and unexplored depths, and some creatures are difficult to find due to their location, small population size, or effective camouflage. Although this new creature had all three of these going for it, a group of scientists recently discovered a new species of shark off the coast of Central America.

ninja lanternsharkEtmopterus benchleyi, also called the ninja laternshark, is a small black creature discovered in the eastern Pacific Ocean named after Jaws author Peter Benchley. According to Hakai Magazine, lead author Victoria Elena Vásquez coined the “ninja lanternshark” designation after a conversation with her 8 year old cousins. (They wanted to go with “Super Ninja Shark”, but Vásquez decided to rein it in just a bit)

“We don’t know a lot about lanternsharks. They don’t get much recognition compared to a great white,” said Vásquez, a graduate student at the Pacific Shark Research Center out of California.

New shark, strange abilities
According to the study published in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation this month, most specimens were collected off the coast of Costa Rica at a depth between 836-1443 meters. All specimens collected were entirely black with small white patches around their eyes and mouth—making them very difficult to spot in the dark water.

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