New species of shark discovered has ancestors older than dinosaurs


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Possibly they only wanted a larger boat.

After many years of on the lookout for it, scientists have found a brand new species of shark, one whose ancestors lived 250 million years in the past.

Appropriately dubbed Atlantic sixgill shark, the Hexanchus vitulus belongs to the sixgill household of sharks and lives within the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic sixgill sharks are completely different from the sixgill sharks that stay within the Indian and Pacific Oceans solely on a molecular stage — it’s not one thing that could possibly be noticed with the bare eye.


“We confirmed that the sixgills within the Atlantic are literally very completely different from those within the Indian and Pacific Oceans on a molecular stage, to the purpose the place it’s apparent that they’re a distinct species despite the fact that they give the impression of being similar to the bare eye,” mentioned Florida Tech assistant professor Toby Daly-Engel in a assertion. Engel can also be the lead researcher of the examine.

The sixgill shark is generally present in “tropical and temperate waters” in line with the examine’s summary, which cited areas of the Atlantic Ocean as Belize, Gulf of Mexico and Bahamas.

The scientists checked out 1,310 base pairs of two mitochondrial genes and located that there have been sufficient variations to find out that the Atlantic model of the sixgill shark is completely different sufficient from these residing within the Pacific and Indian oceans to be thought of a distinct species.

The examine, which has been printed within the journal Marine Biodiversity, was a collaboration of labor from completely different establishments. The Florida Institute of Know-how, MarAlliance, Florida State College Coastal and Marine Laboratory and the Nationwide Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Heart had been all concerned.


Sixgill sharks have been on the planet for hundreds of thousands of years, with ancestors having swam within the oceans for 250 million years. By comparability, dinosaurs first appeared roughly 230 million years in the past, in line with the USGS.

As a result of sixgill sharks swim hundreds of ft beneath the ocean floor, figuring out and finding out them has been tough. In contrast to their kinfolk within the Indian and Pacific Oceans, they don’t develop very massive, reaching roughly six ft in size by maturity. In addition they have saw-like tooth on the decrease jaw and 6 gill slits.

Sixgill sharks within the Indian and Pacific Oceans can attain over 15 ft in size when totally grown.

“As a result of we now know there are two distinctive species, we have now a way of the general variation in populations of sixgills. We perceive that if we overfish one in all them, they won’t replenish from elsewhere on the planet,” Daly-Engel added within the assertion. He additionally mentioned that the examine sheds extra mild on shark variety, “significantly variety within the deep ocean, which we don’t know a lot about.”

Comply with Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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