Florida scientists discover new ‘alien-like’ shark with huge eyes

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Simply whenever you thought it was protected to enter the water – Florida scientists have found a brand new species of dogfish shark with monumental eyes.

The brand new species, often known as Squalus clarkae, named after marine biology pioneer Eugenie Clark, lives within the deep waters off the Gulf of Mexico. It was beforehand considered a part of the Squalus mitsukurii, a dogfish species in Japan, however DNA testing has confirmed in any other case.

Squalus clarkae is genetically distinct from different species with vital statistical assist…” the research’s abtract reads.

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The summary continued: “Morphological estimates additionally revealed variations between S. clarkae, S. mitsukurii, and different Atlantic Squalus species, with S. clarkae exhibiting an extended physique, smaller interorbital area, shorter caudal fin, and a differently-proportioned first dorsal fin.”

“Deep-sea sharks are all formed by comparable evolutionary strain, so that they find yourself wanting rather a lot alike,” mentioned one of many research’s authors, Florida Institute of Know-how assistant professor and shark biologist Toby Daly-Engel, in a press release. “So we depend on DNA to inform us how lengthy a species has been by itself, evolutionarily, and the way totally different it’s.”

Whereas its eyes are actually a noticeable characteristic, a lot totally different than different dogfish sharks, it’s comparatively small, in response to LiveScience. Its physique ranges between 20 and 28 inches in size.

Naming the brand new species S. clarkae is an homage to Clark, who was often known as “the Shark Woman,” earlier than passing away in 2015 on the age of 92. One of many first feminine marine biologists, Clarke is credited with beginning the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in 1955.

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“Dr. Clark was a trailblazer for girls in shark biology,” marine scientist Mariah Pfleger mentioned within the assertion. “Her work confirmed me that it was potential to make my mark in a male-dominated discipline. This paper is an ideal instance of how her profession has influenced a number of generations of girls in science: the primary writer is a girl who graduated from a woman-led lab.”

The analysis was printed July 17 within the scientific journal Zootaxa.

Comply with Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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