Lateral views of: A, Gollum suluensis sp. nov., holotype, PNM 15175, 585 mm TL, adult male (preserved); B, G. attenuatus, NMNZ P 5724, 922 mm TL, adult male (preserved); and C, G. attenuatus, NMNZ P 39440, 939 mm TL, female (fresh), images by Last, Peter R., & Gaudiano, Joe P. (2011, December 31). FIGURE 1 in Gollum suluensis sp. nov. (Carcharhiniformes: Pseudotriakidae), a new gollumshark from the southern Philippines. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.206700
We love bringing you the less-known Chondrichthyans (sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras) here at The Fins United Initiative. TFUI believes it is important to shatter the stereotype of what a shark looks like so that everyone can know a) how diverse this group looks like but also b) not be afraid of them! Not all sharks are great whites, after all. But funding for these animals is hard to come by, especially when it isn't a charismatic top predator like a great white. That means we know little about these less-charismatic critters... like the Sulum gollumshark (Gollum suluensis).
First of all, I think we can all agree that this has the COOLEST common name and scientific name, even if you aren't a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit fan. Yes, gollum is indeed from J.R.R.Tolkien while suluensis is a nod to the Sulu Sea, a marine region of the southern Philippines and where this shark was recorded. It is known only from off Palawan Island and may be endemic there-- scientists aren't 100% sure! One particular specimen was collected on the insular slope at about 730 m depth. A small species, references say the maximum size was 58.5 cm standard length (SL) for a male/unsexed specimen.
They have a bell-shaped head with a broad snout, a large eye, spiracles, and a grey colour throughout. Yes, they are quite dusky coloured all over! A false catshark, they have not been assessed by the IUCN.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THIS ANIMAL?
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
SEARCH BY CATEGORIES