There's a new shark species in the water with a cool name and social media fans. Dubbed "Ninja Lanternshark," the creature was found by researchers from the Ocean Science Foundation and described in a paper just published in the organization's journal.
The find, which has lately hit the "trending" charts on Facebook, was based on the collection of eight specimens from the Pacific Coast of Central America. Its sleek appearance and stealthy ways helped earn the creature the common name "Ninja Lanternshark," while its scientific name (Etmopterus benchleyi) is a tip of the hat to "Jaws" author Peter Benchley, according to Hakai Magazine.
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The name is more than just cool to the scientists. Lead researcher Victoria Vásquez told the publication that she wanted the new shark to stand out with "an interesting story," given that lanternsharks are little known to the general public. Her team's find was the first documentation of that type of shark off Central America.
According to the researchers, the new shark was observed at depths of about 2,700 feet to 4,700 feet. It runs about 1.5 feet long and uses special skin structures to give off a faint glow that helps it blend in with the inky, low-light surroundings where its prey can be found (a stealth characteristic that helped win the shark the "ninja" moniker).
via Hakai Magazine