Very Rare “Baby Ghost Shark” Discovered Off New Zealand Coast
A baby ghost shark has been discovered by scientists off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
Scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research have stated that the ghost shark had only just been born as its belly was still contained yolk.
The embryos of ghost sharks develop in capsules on the sea floor and feed off the yolk until they are ready to hatch.
Dr Finucci from the NIWA said: “Deep water species are generally hard to find, and like ghost sharks in particular, they tend to be quite cryptic.”
“So we just don’t see them very often.”
Juvenile ghost sharks can also change their characteristics when they become adults.
She said: “Juveniles can live in very different habitats, … they can have different diets, they can even look very different from adults.
“Coming across the juvenile helps us better understand the biology and some of the ecology of the species.”
Dr Finucci also said research would be carried out on the baby shark’s species.
She said: “We’ll take a little tissue sample and random genetics.
“Then we’ll do a whole bunch of morphometrics or body measurements as well, which will also help us assess what species we’re looking at.”