New Zealand scientists discover rare baby ghost shark
- A rare baby ghost shark that lives in shadowy depths of the ocean has been discovered by scientists in New Zealand
- The species are rarely spotted and are also known as Chimaera
- These baby sharks are cartilaginous creatures similar to sharks and rays
A rare baby ghost shark that lives in shadowy depths of the ocean has been discovered by scientists in New Zealand, the BBC reported. The baby ghost shark was spotted at a depth of 1.2 kilometers off the east coast of New Zealand's South Island.
The species are rarely spotted and are also known as Chimaera. Scientists said that the spotting of a ghost shark baby is even rarer as they hatch from eggs laid on the seafloor.
Dr Brit Finucci, a member of the team, called it a “neat find”, and added that the discovery was made by accident. She works as a fisheries scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and she said that the baby ghost shark normally hatches from egg capsules laid on the seafloor.
The team members said this discovery will help them understand better the early stages of the mysterious group of deepwater fish. “Deepwater species are generally hard to find, and like ghost sharks, in particular, they tend to be quite cryptic," Dr Finucci said and added that the fish had recently hatched as its belly was still full of egg yolk.
Marine biologists have been studying ghost sharks for years, trying to understand their behaviour. The baby ghost sharks live in very different habitats and have different diets.
Dr Finucci said that her team will take samples of tissues and random genetics to better understand the species. “We'll do a whole bunch of morphometrics or body measurements as well,” she said.
These baby sharks are cartilaginous creatures similar to sharks and rays. The cartilaginous nature of their skeletons gives them an ethereal quality.
The ghost sharks mostly consume worms on the ocean floor.
Adult ghost sharks can be up to 2 meters in length and are found all around the world. Only a few of these fish are found in shallow coastal waters.