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 (1730 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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).

Comments are closed.