Scientists Discover Unique 'Ninja Lanternshark' That Glows In Dark

Posted: Dec 24 2015, 11:12am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News


Scientists Discover  Unique 'Ninja Lanternshark' that Glows in Dark
Credit: Vicky Vasquez

Ninja Lanternshark has jet black skin and the ability to glow in deep, dark ocean.

Scientists have discovered a new species of shark which has jet black skin, bulging eyes and the ability to glow in the dark.  The new shark species is named Ninja Lanternshark due to its Japanese ninja typical out and stealthy behavior. 

Ninja Lanternshark lives in Pacific Ocean in the depths of 836 to 1443 meters. The shark has special cells on its skin that produce a faint glow in deep, dark ocean and make it a master of stealth. The glow helps the shark to catch its own prey and to hide itself from larger predators, just like a kind of camouflage. 

In fact, it is the super stealth ability of the shark alongside its jet black appearance that led to calling it Ninja Lanternshark.

“The common name we have suggested, Ninja Lanternshark, refers to the shark's color which is a uniform sleek black as well as the fact that it has fewer photophores (organs that emit light) than other species of lanternsharks”. Researcher Vicky Vasquez who gave the name to shark said in statement. 

The new shark species belong to the genus Etmopterus which is one of the richest genera of sharks and has more than 37 valid species from the genus have been discovered so far.

Till now, researchers have found only 8 specimens from new lanternshark species while the first one was discovered back in 2010. However, researchers still do not know much about Ninja Lanternshark as it belongs to least known species of shark.  

Ninja Lanternshark is easily recognizable from other species due to its uniform black color and high concentrations of dermal denticles surrounding the eyes and gill openings.

“It can be distinguished from its closest congeners based on a combination of coloration, proportional body measurements, meristic counts, arrangement of dermal denticles, and size at maturity.” Research reads. 

The shark can grow up to 19 inches and it is the first lanternshark to be discovered in the waters off Central America.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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