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Biologists name new deep-sea shark species after 30 years of research

Biologists name new deep-sea shark species after 30 years of research

Science
Feb. 27 (UPI) -- After 30 years of research, scientists have finally given an unusual lantern shark its own species designation and a new name -- a family name. University of Rhode Island shark researcher Bradley Wetherbee named the deep sea species Laila's lantern shark after his 17-year-old daughter, Laila Mostello-Wetherbee. The newly named species' scientific name is Etmopterus lailae. Wetherbee has known the lantern shark for nearly twice as long as he's known his daughter. But while his daughter arrived with a name, it took Etmopterus lailae three decades to earn its designation. "It's not uncommon for it to take many years for a new species to be recognized as new to science and then properly described and named," Wetherbee, a professor in the department of biological sciences, sai...
Shark on UK plates highlights trade in endangered species

Shark on UK plates highlights trade in endangered species

Science
Meat from endangered sharks is finding its way on to the British menu, according to a study. DNA tests show that shark products destined for restaurants include two species vulnerable to extinction. Consumers may be unaware what shark they are eating - and whether it is from a sustainable population, British scientists say.The UK is playing a continuing role in the "damaging trade in endangered shark species", they say. One of the two threatened sharks identified - the scalloped hammerhead - is subject to international restrictions. University of Exeter researchers say, despite the small number of samples studied, they have demonstrated the sale of threatened sharks, highlighting the global nature of the damaging trade in endange...
Fossil shark named after 80s video game

Fossil shark named after 80s video game

Science
A newly discovered species of ancient shark has been named after a 1980s arcade game.The shark swam in the rivers of what is now South Dakota, US, about 67 million years ago, living alongside iconic dinosaur species such as T. rex. It's been named Galagadon, after the 1981 Japanese-US game Galaga, because its teeth resemble the spaceships in the game.The specimen is described in the Journal of Paleontology. "It may seem odd today, but about 67 million years ago, what is now South Dakota was covered in forests, swamps and winding rivers," said co-author Terry Gates, from North Carolina State University.The tiny teeth - each measuring less than a millimetre across - were discovered in the sediment ...
The life of a shark scientist

The life of a shark scientist

Science
What do marine biologists do all day? It's not all about time in the ocean, though Melissa Marquez often wishes it was! A marine biologist and shark researcher based in Sydney, she has given BBC News a quick guide to ocean research, some of the Great Barrier Reef's residents, and what to do to if you get bitten while scuba diving.What made you decide to focus your research on sharks?I've always had an interest in misunderstood predators, and sharks just happen to be the most misunderstood.When I was about seven, I put on [the Discovery Channel's] Shark Week. I remember seeing a great white shark breaching - so flying through the air, essentially - and I was hooked. By the end of the show I was like: that's what I want to do, I wa...
Shark sighted off Majorca, first great white there in 40 years

Shark sighted off Majorca, first great white there in 40 years

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device For the first time in more than 40 years, a great white shark has been recorded swimming off the Spanish Mediterranean island of Majorca.A wildlife conservation group captured footage of the shark wandering around the Cabrera archipelago.The last confirmed sighting of such a fish in the Balearic Islands was by a fisherman in 1976.Great whites can weigh up to two tonnes, grow to lengths of 20ft (6m) and reach speeds of 40km/h (25mph).Why the Jaws shark is not a 'man-eating monster'"The presence of great white sharks in Spanish waters has been a constant rumour," biologist and documentary maker Fernando López-Mirones told Efe news agency."However, we've been unable to document their presence fo...