What is the smallest shark in the world?

Back in 1979, in the eastern part of the PacificOcean, biologists have caught the world's smallest shark. The length of her body was only 40 centimeters, so she was given the very uncomplicated name “American pocket shark”. Whether because of its residence in the depths of the oceans, or because of the rarity of the species, scientists managed to find a second individual only in 2010 in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. And then, after studying her skeleton, it turned out that scientists had made a mistake. The shark found belongs to a completely new species and it is the smallest in the world.

Between sharks from the Pacific and the MexicanGulf is really a lot of differences. Using a microscope and computed tomography, which allows you to study the inside of the body without opening the body, the scientists found fewer vertebrae and the presence of luminous organs in the second. The length of the smallest shark was equal to 14.4 centimeters.

Deep sea shark

In the scientific community luminous organs of marineanimals are known as photophores. They are found in many fish and mollusks that inhabit the bottom of the seas and oceans. For example, such an organ is found in anglerfish, whose images you must have seen in biology textbooks and simply in scientific articles. On their head there is a kind of fishing rod, one end of which glows in the dark. This glow attracts the attention of tiny fish, so by gradually moving the bait to your mouth, deep-sea fish can quickly catch and eat their prey.

Anglerfish with photoporta

Have found shark, which received nameMollisquama mississippiensis, these luminous organs are located near each fin. Organs are gland-filled glands within which live light-emitting bacteria. According to biologists, the shark uses light both as bait for potential prey and to scare away larger predators.

Shark Mollisquama mississippiensis

Shark length is 14.4 centimeters

This shark is so small that protection fromother predators obviously will not hurt her. Even relatively large polar sharks die from attacks by other predators - a group of scientists from the US state of South Carolina recently filmed a video of how one of these sharks was eaten by rockfish. This fish, which lives near the sunken ships, simply opened its mouth and in a moment swallowed the predator.

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By discovering new species of rare fish, scientists are doingthe conclusion that animals unknown to science still exist on planet Earth. The director of Tulane University, located in the US state of Louisiana, believes that scientists still have many discoveries to be made in the Gulf of Mexico. At its bottom, by the way, you can find the body of the sunken astronaut.

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