Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Shark species?

According to a recent article by Daniel Cressey on, scientists have discovered scores of new species of sharks and rays.
Scalloped Hammerhead © Richard Merritt
 A genetic study of thousands of specimens of sharks and rays has uncovered scores of potential new species and is fuelling biologists’ debates over the organisation of the family tree of these animals. The work also raises the possibility that some species are even more endangered than previously thought.

Gavin Naylor, a biologist at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and his colleagues sequenced samples from 4,283 specimens of sharks and rays as part of a major effort to fill the gaps. The team found 574 species, of which 79 are potentially new, they report in theBulletin of the American Museum of Natural History1.

Naylor says that he was “flabbergasted” by the result, especially because the sequencing covered only around half of the roughly 1,200 species thought to exist worldwide.

Read the article

This is even more evidence of how little we know about sharks and the ocean ecosystem in general. I'm happy that we at Shark Diver can do our small part helping out the researchers by providing our pictures for the photo ID database of the Great White Sharks at Isla Guadalupe.


Martin Graf
Dive Operations Manager
Shark Diver/Horizon
Isla Guadalupe, Mexico

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