The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) says researchers have discovered an exceptionally rare “ghost shark” near the South Island of New Zealand.
The fish is translucent and is crowned with gelatinous and a pair of giant black eyes on its pointed head, and is one of more than 50 known species of ghost sharks known worldwide as the deep-sea chimeras. .
According to the NIWA, although they are not exactly sharks, chimeras are closely related to both sharks and rays, all of which are fish with skeletons made of cartilage rather than bone.
According to NIWA researchers, ghost shark embryos develop in seawater egg capsules. There, the yellow-coated embryos are fed until the time of hatching. Due to their small size and exceptionally deep habitat, young ghost sharks are extremely rare, the researchers said.
“The recently hatched ghost shark can be said to be the yolk of an egg in its stomach. This is very surprising. Most of the ghost sharks that live in deep water are adult specimens,” NIWA Fisheries Scientist Brett Vinci said in a statement.
Researchers plan to conduct genetic tests to find out what kind of ghost shark the chicks belong to.
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