New Sharks

From The Daily Review…

It is amazing what you find lying around the bottom of the ocean, as St. Mary’s College professor Douglas Long has discovered. Long was part of a team of researchers who this year identified two new species of deep-sea fishes, unusual-looking sharks that broke off on their own evolutionary path more than 320 million years ago. The creatures — named the Galapagos and whitespot ghost sharks — were found more than 1,200 feet underwater near the Galapagos Islands in 1995, sucked through a vacuum tube into a research submarine. Long and his team spent more than a decade making sure they were new species before publishing their results in the journal Zootaxa in October and December. “They’ve been on their own branch of the evolutionary tree since well before the dinosaurs,” said Long…Among the first to actually see both new species was Long’s Academy of Sciences colleague, John McCosker, who found the Galapagos ghost shark on his 50th birthday in 1995. Long, who examined both animals in the Bay Area, honored his friend by giving the fish the Latin name .

Dr. M (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

One comment on “New Sharks
  1. I just wish they started using convenient names – much easier to learn, especially when you have 3 pages of latin names to memorize (don’t ask).

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