'VERY RARE': Bizarre shark-creature found in New Zealand waters

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A rare baby ghost shark has been spotted by scientists off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

The bizarre-looking deep-sea creature is believed to have hatched not long before being found according to fisheries scientist Brit Finucci who was part of the team that made the discovery.

The rare ghost shark, also known as chimaeras, are relatives of sharks and rays, and are usually found in very deep waters, meaning they're not often seen by humans.

So the team at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) were extremely excited by their discovery about 1.2km underwater near Chatham Rise.

A rare baby ghost shark has been discovered by New Zealand scientists
The ghost shark, also known as chimaeras, are usually found in very deep waters, meaning they're not often seen by humans. Source: Brit Finucci

They said the find will help them learn more about the species.

"Finding this ghost shark will help us better understand the biology and ecology of this mysterious group of deepwater fish," Dr Finucci told the BBC.

"You can tell this ghost shark recently hatched because it has a full belly of egg yolk. It’s quite astonishing. Most deepwater ghost sharks are known adult specimens; neonates (newly hatched) are infrequently reported so we know very little about them."

Dr Finucci said juveniles and adults "can have different dietary and habitat requirements".

“Juveniles also look dissimilar to adults, having distinctive colour patterns," she said.

According to the Shark Trust, other names for the creature include rat fish, spook fish and rabbit fish, Sky News reported.

When they made the discovery, the team was carrying out a trawl survey to estimate populations of hoki fish.

Further tests and genetic analysis would need to be carried out to determine the exact species, according to Dr Finucci.

Monster bull shark shocks fishermen in Sydney Harbour

A huge bull shark was reeled in by two men in Sydney Harbour last week, and one of the fishermen says it's not the first time he has caught one in the area.

In a TikTok video shared by user @huss_fisho, viewers were treated to an up-close look at a catch and release, as one of the fishermen tried to get the shark back in the water.

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