Tag: Piranhas

Saw Shark Species found among new species

Four new deep sea sharks including a “rapier wielding” sawshark are among 140 new species discovered by California Academy of Sciences researchers in 2011, the institution announced in December.

The African dwarf sawshark (Pristiophorus nancyae) was accidentally captured in a 1,600-foot-deep (490-meter-deep) trawl off Mozambique. The animal is only the seventh species of sawshark known to science, according to David Ebert, a research associate at the Academy.

The predator has a long, tooth-studded snout that it uses like a sword, whipping the appendage through schools of fish and then returning to eat any casualties.

Along with the sawshark, a new species of angel shark, Squatina caillieti, was named from a single specimen collected in 1,200-foot-deep (370-meter-deep) water off the Philippine island of Luzon, Ebert said.

Bottom-dwelling angel sharks, whose large pectoral fins resemble wings, lie partially buried in sediment and ambush passing prey.

In addition, two species of lanternshark in the Etmopterus genus were also discovered in Taiwan and South Africa, respectively.

Most surprising ability of deep sea fish

The Latern fish is a deep sea fish which has the different characteristic of producing light in its body. This light is produced by small organ called as photophores. This organ gives off light due to the chemical process present in it. The photophores organs lie in the fish’s head, bottom and tail. This different organ is used for latern fish to attract and feed the small fishes. 200 variety species of this fishes are found in the deep sea. The females discharge their eggs into the water column as a group where they are then fertilized outwardly by the males. Depending on the species, between 100 and 2,000 eggs are discharged by each fish.

They spend the day in the deep ocean but come close to the surface at night in search of food. They do this to go after the similar migrations of plankton, which serve as their primary food source. It is thought that these migrations may also serve to help the lantern fish avoid predation. By returning to the deep sea during the day, they avoid many of the large predators in the shallower seas. At shallower depths, lantern fish provide an important food source to a number of organisms including whales, dolphins, tuna, sharks, seals, squid, and sea birds.