‘Very uncommon’ child ghost shark discovered by scientists

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(CNN) — Scientists in New Zealand have found a newly-hatched ghost shark which they are saying may inform their data of the “mysterious” creature.

The ghost shark was discovered at a depth of round 1,200 meters (about 3,900 ft) on the Chatham Rise, an space of ocean ground off the east coast of the South Island.

The “very uncommon” discovery was made throughout a current survey, the Nationwide Institute of Water and Atmospheric Analysis mentioned in a press launch on Tuesday.

A deep water animal, the ghost shark is scientifically often known as chimaera, with different names together with rat fish, spook fish and rabbit fish, in response to the Shark Trust. The ghost shark is carefully associated to sharks and rays.

They’re cartilaginous fish — having skeletons primarily made up of cartilage — and their embryos develop in egg capsules laid on the ocean ground, and feed off egg yolk till they hatch.

“You’ll be able to inform this ghost shark just lately hatched as a result of it has a full stomach of egg yolk,” mentioned Brit Finucci, a fisheries scientist who was a part of the staff that made the invention, within the press launch.

Ghost shark egg capsules.

Ghost shark egg capsules.

Dr Brit Finucci/NIWA

“It is fairly astonishing. Most deep-water ghost sharks are recognized grownup specimens; neonates are occasionally reported so we all know little or no about them,” she added.

The precise species of the ghost shark the staff found will not be but recognized, and Finucci mentioned additional checks and genetic evaluation can be wanted.

The age of the specimen makes it a very uncommon discover, and it will assist inform scientific data on juvenile ghost sharks, as Finucci says different chimaera species point out that juveniles “can have totally different dietary and habitat necessities” to adults.

“Juveniles additionally look dissimilar to adults, having distinctive color patterns,” she mentioned of different chimaera species. “Discovering this ghost shark will assist us higher perceive the biology and ecology of this mysterious group of deep-water fish.”

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