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Saltie Voice: Pocket Shark

Katie Stoddart

Satie-soul-natural-skincare-ocean-based
  • The tiny nipper was caught during a 2010 government research trip
  • Its body remained frozen while biologists tried to identify it
  • The pocket shark measures 5.5 inches long and weighs a mere half ounce

According to a study published in the journal Zootaxa, the second pocket shark ever to be seen has been discovered. It was found in a batch of fish collected as part of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study conducted in 2010..

Scientists found a tiny, young version of the extraordinarily rare shark that was fished out of the deep Gulf of Mexico in 2010 with lots of other creatures in a government research trip. The dead specimen spent more than three years in a giant freezer waiting to be identified. It turned out to be only the second of its species ever seen. The first pocket shark was found 36 years ago in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru and it's been sitting in a Russian museum since. This pocket shark (Mollisquama sp.) was a male, maybe a few weeks old, about 5.5 inches long. Strangely, this type of shark has two pockets next to its front fins; their purpose is not known.The only other known specimen was found very far away, off Peru, 36 years ago.

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