ELASMOBRANCHS OF THE SOUTHERN COLD
Two species of sharks been recorded in the Ross Sea, below 70°S: Etmopterus sp. and Somniosus antarcticus. Both were caught as bycatch in the longline toothfish fishery at Ross Sea.
There are currently several endemic species of skates that are currently known to live in Antarctic continental waters. The skates may have been present in Antarctic waters since the Paleogene era. Based on skate fossils, biology, paleogeography, and where you can currently find skates... the evidence points that they emigrated into Antarctica by a swimming along the continental margins of the western Atlantic Ocean.
DID YOU KNOW...
Skates are the only group of fishes known to have survived the Oligocene cooling of Antarctica that killed the Paleogene fish life in this area. Why did they live? Probably because they can tolerate the cold, they aren't picky eaters, and are happy to call wherever and whatever home.
COULD SHARKS EVER BE FOUND LIVING 100% OF THE TIME IN ANTARCTICA?
Researchers Cheryl Wilga and Brad Seibel from the University of Rhode Island have found that an increase in water temperature of even a few degrees Celsius could possibly make Antarctic waters habitable for benthic sharks. The problem? Antarctic seafloor is basically dominated by relatively soft-bodied, slow-moving invertebrates... meaning an animal with jaws could easily decimate easy pickings. This could change the ecology of the Antarctic benthic community as we currently know it. This could happen within this century.
Don't worry: you won't be seeing a great white shark there any time soon.
here are some of the threats that ANTARCTIC FACES ...
Fishing nets, plastic, lines, hooks and more is being carried around the sea... and some of it may end up in our icy southern waters, choking life.
Antarctica faces a number of threats thanks to climate change including regional warming (which causes loss of sea ice) and ocean acidification.