Nov 8 2013, 3:37am CST | by Sumayah Aamir
Joe Quattro, a scientist who studied fish, found a new species of hammerhead shark recently. He and his team of researchers were overjoyed to come upon what was essentially the first such sighting. The rarity is called a Carolina hammerhead. Its existence had been a hypothesis accepted tentatively among scientists.
The fact was that this scarce species could not be told apart from the common scalloped hammerhead. The rapacious nature of poachers who hunted whales and sharks off the coast had made this species an extremely rare occurrence. Joe Quattro had never in his dreams thought he would end up discovering a new species. If it weren’t for his wide interests he wouldn’t have chanced upon the Carolina hammerhead.
Geologically and evolution-wise, he studied the movement of sea animals to the glacial regions. Pockets of those areas free of their influence were there too. He found both a common and rare species of a fish in close proximity of each other. Then he noted the turnover of species from the river to the sea and from there to the oceans. Since the coast of South Carolina was a breeding ground for sharks, Joe got curious and started studying them.
A discrepancy in the genetic structure and morphology of hammerhead sharks piqued his interest. That was when he discovered the cryptic species known as the Carolina hammerhead. It was nearly indistinguishable from its cousin. Yet all evidence points towards this unique shark as an anomaly of the highest order. It is indeed a miracle that it still exists.
Source: FOX News
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