Researchers discover tiny ‘glow-in-the-dark’ shark

Researchers discover tiny ‘glow-in-the-dark’ shark

Marine wildlife researchers claimed to have discovered a previously unknown tiny ‘glow-in-the-dark’ shark in the deep ocean off the coast of Central America.

Etmopterus benchleyi, which researchers also called the Ninja Laternshark, was first found swimming nearly 1,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean’s surface in the year of 2010. But, they were not able to confirm until recently that it was a new species of shark.

Victoria Elena Vasquez, a graduate student at the Pacific Shark Research Center and member of the team that discovered the new species, said the Ninja Laternshark is nothing to be afraid of. Some fish of this species are so small that they might fit in your hand.

Addressing concerns, Vasquez said, “I’ve seen a few reports alluding to how dangerous and scary this shark might be, which is pretty funny to me since the largest one we found (a full grown adult) was 515 mm long (20 inches) from head to tail.”

However, the Ninja Laternshark’s ability to swim as deep as 4,734 feet impressed the researchers. From 1970 to 1999, researchers discovered 9 new species of sharks. From 2000 to 2009, the number of discoveries doubled to 18 per year.

The discovery of the ‘glow-in-the-dark’ shark was published in a recent edition of the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.

According to a report from the Discovery, There’s a new shark species in the water with a cool name and social media fans. Dubbed “Ninja Lanternshark,” the creature was found by researchers from the Ocean Science Foundation and described in a paper just published in the organization’s journal.

The name is more than just cool to the scientists. Lead researcher Victoria Vásquez told the publication that she wanted the new shark to stand out with “an interesting story,” given that lanternsharks are little known to the general public. Her team's find was the first documentation of that type of shark off Central America.

Now, don’t go saying: “Go home RocketNews24 writer, you’re drunk. I already heard about this and it’s called a ‘ninja lanternshark.'” You mustn’t forget that this is a ninja shark and so its Japanese name must be honored as such. The many species of lanternsharks are known as “karasuzame” in Japanese which translates to “crow sharks” in English. Although they seem contradictory, both names are appropriate.

“Lanternshark” refers to the animals’ ability to illuminate itself in the deep waters where they reside. However, despite their glowing ability these creatures also tend to be jet black, hence the name “crow shark.” told the Rocketnews24.

The UniversityHerald notes that, A team of researchers discovered a strange new shark and named it after one of the most famous shark enthusiasts in the world. Dubbed Etmopterus benchleyi, or the "Ninja Lanternshark," the fish is named after Peter Benchley, the author of the novel-turned-major-motion-picture "Jaws" and a noted shark enthusiast and conservationist.

The researchers discovered the shark and identified it as belonging to a previously unidentified species after finding an individual's body at the California Academy of Sciences.

"About 20 percent of all shark species have been discovered in just the last ten years," study co-author Dave Ebert, program director for the PSRC, told Hakai. "My whole research is looking for 'lost sharks.'"

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