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WATCH: Extremely rare ‘ghost shark’ first time caught on cam

/ 07:05 PM December 19, 2016

A team of marine biologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California, USA have managed to capture a footage of a rare pointy-nosed blue chimaera swimming around in its natural habitat.

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Popularly known as ‘ghost shark’ for its peculiar features, the exquisite creature was spotted in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time.

Through the use of a remote operated vehicle, scientists were able to document the marine animal down to depths of 2,000 meters (6,700 feet), according to The Telegraph.

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The species, which has a retractable sex organ on its head, is closely related to sharks and sting rays. But unlike their feared namesakes, ghost sharks possess tooth plates instead of sharp teeth, and have visible deep grooves cut into their flesh called lateral line canals.

The magnificent beast’s head also has rows of dots that scientists identify as tiny sensory organs.

Meanwhile, Kim Fulton-Bennett from MBARI described the discovery as pure “dumb luck” since the fish are usually too large, fast and agile to be physically caught.

“If and when the researchers can get their hands on one of these fish, they will be able to make detailed measurements of its fins and other body parts and perform DNA analysis on its tissue,” she was quoted as saying.

“This would allow them to either remove the cf. (uncertain characteristics) from their species description, or assign the fish to a new species altogether.”

The rare species is usually found near Australia and New Zealand and has never been filmed alive elsewhere until now. Khristian Ibarrola

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TOPICS: Ghost Shark, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, rare creature, Video
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