Another New Zealand native, The Fins United Initiative brings you the slow growing, deepwater dark ghost shark, Hydrolagus novaezealandiae. (Can we just take a second to appreciate ITS AWESOME NAME?)
Hydrolagus novaezealandiae is caught almost entirely as bycatch in trawl fisheries that mainly target hoki. Fun fact: Trawl surveys show that the dark and pale ghost sharks (Hydrolagus bemisi) have differences mainly influenced by water depth!
To some, it is known as the “blurred lantern shark.” In fact, Shirai and Tachikawa (1993) named it the “blurred smooth-dogfish;” the American Fisheries Society adopted the name, “blurred lantern shark” instead. However, Jose Castro suggests describing it as the “emerald lantern shark.” This is due to the bright emerald color that runs along its flanks. Otherwise, they’re completely black.
Well, besides the photophores under their belly, which are blue in color. Scientifically known as Etmopterus bigelowi, this shark has two dorsal fins, each protected by a large spine. They have profound morphometric changes with growth: in both sexes the length of the trunk increases allometrically of the total length. They have cool denticles in that they are flat and have four points.
The genus Apristurus is made up of at least 32 described species and a large number of species that are potentially undescribed. Our featured shark, the deep water catshark (Apristurus profundorum), is only known from ONE holotype, an adolescent male.
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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