This shark belongs to the Dalatiidae family a.k.a. sleeper sharks. Thirty-six years ago off the coast of Peru, the first of this species (a female) was discovered and at that point, the only one ever seen!
|This first pocket shark is held in a museum in Russia.|
Another of these rare species (a relatively young male) accidentally turned up in 2010 in a batch of fish that was collected off the shore of Louisiana while the study of what sperm whales eat was underway.
Interesting facts about pocket sharks.
~The most interesting fact is probably that there have only ever been two discovered but scientist believe there are more out there.
~No one has ever seen a pocket shark alive and only a handful of people have seen the two that have been discovered.
~There are unusual photophore agglomerations (light-emitting organs) on their bellies that are not seen on the majority of sharks.
~This type of shark has a pocket gland with a large slit external opening which is located above the pectoral fin. No one is certain what the purpose of these mysterious pockets are but the working hypothesis is that the pockets hold glowing fluid or pheromones which are secreted by the pocket sharks. The fluid could be used to attract prey or mates and/or elude predators.
~The pockets are said to measure about 4% of the shark's entire body.
~It is believed that pocket sharks are bottom-dwellers.
~The closest relative to the pocket sharks are cookie-cutter sharks and the kitefin sharks.
As I said not much is known about these fascinating little creatures. What is known is that they are simply amazing and adorable!
Read more here and here.
Happy shark week!