A rare ghost shark baby was discovered at the depth of approximately 1,200 meters, which is about 3,900 feet on Chatham Rise. Chatham Rise is an area of the ocean floor to the east of New Zealand.
The discovery was made by scientists who said that this could enhance what they know about the creature.
On Tuesday, the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research confirmed in a press release that a newly-hatched shark was discovered during a recent survey.
According to the Shark Trust knowledge of the ghost shark, it is a deepwater animal that is scientifically called Chimaera. The mysterious creature, which is closely related to both sharks and rays, has several other names such as rat fish, spook fish and rabbit fish.
Being that the creature has skeletons primarily composed of cartilage, it is a cartilaginous fish, its embryos are laid on the seafloor in egg capsules, eating egg yolk until they hatch.
During the press release, a member of the team that made the discovery, fisheries scientist Brit Finucci stated that they easily identified the shark as newly hatched because it had a lot of egg yolk in its belly.
Finucci went on to inform CNN Thursday that they don’t have a lot of knowledge about the ghost shark due to the fact that most of their information was gathered from adult specimens. She said that it was rare to find babies which is why she is excited about the discovery.
Additionally, Finucci said that these types of sharks were hard to reach because they were mostly found in the deep parts of the water. With this discovery, she hopes to fill in “biology gaps”.
Subsequently, Finucci added that being that new species of ghost sharks are being discovered, measurements and genetic samples would be taken for identification purposes. The species of the discovered baby shark has also not yet been identified.
Finucci went on to state that the ghost sharks are the “most ancient lineage” of cartilaginous fish. Information gathered from the baby shark will be compared to their knowledge of the adult ghost shark which includes habitat, diet and appearance.
According to other species that are thoroughly studied, juveniles could be extremely different from adults. She continued by saying, “We’re hoping this will give us some more indication about the biology and ecology.”
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