STATES CHRONICLE – While we look for life on other planets, we forget about life on Earth and fail to see creatures like the ‘Ninja Lanternshark’ in the Pacific Ocean.
The ways in which life works are indeed mysterious. On one hand we worry about all the endangered species that are slowly disappearing. On the other hand we constantly discover new species no one has ever heard of before. Marine creatures are usually the ones that keep us alert and make us realize that there is more to Earth and its waters than meets the eye.
Recently a team of marine researchers discovered a new species of shark. The shark received the common name of “Ninja Lanternshark” which was given to it by a scientist’s young cousins. The shark lives off the Central American coast in the Pacific Ocean in waters that are approximately 2,700 to 4,700 feet deep.
The name was given in accordance with the shark’s looks. The marine creature has a sleek black color and it has fewer photophores. Photophores are organs which emit light and are common in lanternsharks. Given its lack of light-emitting organs, they decided it is similar to a ‘ninja’. The scientific name of the sharks – Etmoterus benchleyi – is also somewhat funny as it was inspired by Peter Benchley, the man who wrote ‘Jaws’.
What’s special about lanternsharks is that they actually use light to camouflage themselves. They reflect enough light as to hide their shadows. So far 8 specimens were found since the discovery was made back in 2010. Scientists hope to find more specimens in order to be able to find out more about the species such as how big they can get and how small is the smallest. From the 8 specimens none is a male.
The team of researchers was led by Vicky Vasquez who refers to the new found shark as a ‘lost shark’. The ‘lost’ sharks are the ones which don’t get much attention because other sharks which are more impressive, such as the Great White, tend to overshadow them.
I, for one, think the Ninja shark is pretty impressive too and maybe we’ll manage to discover more about it soon.
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