Scientists have discovered a new species of sharks in the waters of Indonesia that can walk. Unlike other sharks, this species has an unusual way of getting around; it walks.
These walking striped sharks walking harmless to humans, and so far has only been seen in the waters off the Indonesian island of Halmahera.
The shark, Hemiscyllium halmahera, uses its four fins to wiggle across the seabed and scavenge for smaller fish and crustaceans for food rather than opting for the comman technique-swimming in the ocean.
“This shark is harmless and it does not swim but walks like a gecko. It doesn’t have typical shark teeth, either; it has teeth to crush small shelled animals,” said Mark Erdmann, a senior adviser to Conservation International (CI) marine program.
Erdmann said that due to its inability to swim swiftly through the sea, the shark only eat small animals on the seabed, such as crabs, shrimps, molluscs and small fish.
The new species is not the first “walking” shark found in Indonesian waters. “Walking sharks have also been found in Kaimana and Cendrawasih, West Papua, in the past decade, but I can tell that this one is much smaller,” Erdmann said.
These sharks were smaller at only 83 centimeters in length and 1.5 kilograms in weight, scientists said.
According to the marine researchers, the walking shark found in Halmahera was the third species of walking shark found in eastern Indonesia in the last six years.
There were only nine species of walking shark in the world, six of which lived in Indonesian waters, while another three species were scattered in the oceans surrounding Papua New Guinea (PNG) and northern Australia, researchers said.