Cool story, i love nature and new nature discoverys.
heres another new shark discovered, enjoy
Sorry the link didnt work anymore, ive cut n pasted the story and the link where i got it anyway:
A big-nosed red furry shark surfaces
August 30, 2004
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Marine biologists are baffled by a bizarre creature found hopping around in a German aquarium. Michael Leidig reports from Vienna.
New forms of marine life are usually found in such waters as those around the Great Barrier Reef or in the Red Sea. But a new species of "furry"
shark, which hops like a frog rather than swims, has popped up in a German aquarium.
The 70-centimetre female shark, nicknamed Cuddles, is covered in red hairy bristles, has big nostrils and an extra gill that set her apart from the
405 known shark species.
According to the many marine biologists who have flocked to inspect Cuddles, her fins are smaller but more muscular than those found on similar-sized
sharks. She claps them together in order to hop across the bottom of her tank in the Sea Star aquarium in Coburg.
"She leaps over the seabed like a frog rather than swimming gracefully like most sharks," said Peter Faltermeer, a marine biologist and the
The scientists, he said, were confounded. "They were all left totally baffled and we were left delighted," Mr Faltermeer said. "They couldn't
classify her. Cuddles is unique and she belongs to us."
The shark's former home, an Austrian zoo, gave her to the aquarium not realising her rarity. The Sea Star is now in the process of choosing a Latin
and English name for the new species.
"This is the first time a totally new species of shark has been found, not in the wild but in a fish tank," he said. "It is amazing."
He believes that because Cuddles does not have sensory organs at the front of the head, as do other sharks, she uses the bristles that cover her from
head to tail to provide an early warning of possible predators, or prey.
"She lets algae grow without trying to rub it off, which is gradually turning the bristles bright red," said Mr Faltermeer. "We believe the
bristles pick up movements in the water, and the algae help to thicken the bristles and lengthen them."
Unlike other sharks, the irises of Cuddles' eyes are fixed open. She also has very wide nostrils and a fifth gill to filter plankton. "Other sharks
filter plankton, but these don't also chase fish," he said. "But Cuddles has a full set of teeth and the main ones are extraordinarily long.
He believes the shark has adapted to hunting in the dark - probably in a cave rather than in deep water. Most of the biologists believe Cuddles came
from somewhere around southern Africa.
"The eyes that are not designed to cope with light, the all-body hair, the wide nostrils and the way she uses her fins more like legs, all indicate
she is usedto a dark cave environment."
The aquarium would like to find Cuddles a mate as she is believed to be fully grown, but must first narrow down where she came from in order to search
for a companion.
So far she has proved less than maternal. When nurse sharks who share her tank laid eggs, Cuddles ate them.
While the shark is now an attraction at the aquarium, it has taken many years for her to be fully appreciated. Asked how it had managed to give away
such a rarity as a hairy hopping shark that dyes its hair red, the Schonbrunn Zoo in Vienna denied making a mistake. "We are not embarrassed," said
zoo spokesman Dr Ekkehard Wolf. "We get thousands of exotic animals every year. It is not possible to categorise them all."
Before the zoo took her in, Cuddles had been held at an animal rescue centre. It took her in after the centre in which she had been on display shut.
Mr Faltermeer said: "The Austrian zoo experts should not feel too bad. Where they kept her, you could only see her from above. To be honest, when I
first saw her when she was delivered I thought she was an ordinary nurse shark. "It was only when we got her in the aquarium and saw her from the
side that we realised she was special."
Sorry dissapoint those who were thinking "Elmo". LOL
[edit on 7-12-2004 by instar]
[edit on 7-12-2004 by instar]