NEW SPECIES DISCOVERED IN US WATERS

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NEW SPECIES DISCOVERED IN US WATERS

 user 2006-06-13 at 11:46:00 am Views: 83
  • #15706

    New shark discovered in US waters
    ‘Cryptic’ shark
    The shark prefers to breed in South Carolina waters
    A
    new type of hammerhead shark has been discovered in the northwestern
    Atlantic Ocean, marine scientists say.The shark resembles a common
    species called the scalloped hammerhead but has not yet been classified
    or named.US researchers say the animal appears to be rare, breeding
    only in waters off the South Carolina coast.They believe the shark is
    at risk of extinction and conservation efforts are needed to protect
    females when they are raising their pups.The shark was discovered by a
    biology professor at the University of South Carolina.Dr Joe Quattro
    became curious about a common coastal shark called the scalloped
    hammerhead shark while studying coastal fish.Genetic studies revealed
    that there was a second “cryptic” species – that is, “genetically
    distinct” from the scalloped hammerhead.

    Nursery grounds
    The
    shark appears to breed only in waters off South Carolina, although
    adults swim into waters off Florida and North Carolina.Small areas of
    coastline are significant to certain species and it is so important to
    consider shark conservation on an area by area basisAli Hood, Shark
    Trust”If South Carolina’s waters are the primary nursery grounds for
    the cryptic species and females gather here to reproduce, these areas
    should be conservation priorities,” said Dr Quattro.”Management plans
    are needed to ensure that these sharks are not adversely impacted so
    that we can learn more.”Scientists plan to tag the shark so they can
    understand more about its range.Ali Hood, director of conservation at
    the Shark Trust in the UK, said with only 454 recorded species of shark
    in the wild, it was exciting to discover another one.”It shows how
    small areas of coastline are significant to certain species and it is
    so important to consider shark conservation on an area by area basis,”
    she said.