Thanks to Hollywood, we usually associate sharks with large and intimidating creatures.
A new report sheds light on an extremely rare species which is only a few inches long.
Scientists recently announced that they have identified the second possible specimen of the species commonly known as ‘pocket shark.’
Mark Grace from NOAA Fisheries said of the finding, “The pocket shark we found was only 5 and a half inches long, and was a recently born male.”
The shark is named so not due to its small size but because it has a distinctive opening in its front fins.
It was actually picked up by a NOAA ship in 2010 in the waters of Gulf of Mexico while researchers were studying sperm whale feeding.
Since that project collected many other animals, this sample was studied only years later after being uncovered in the lab.
NOAA worked with Tulane University researchers to identify the pocket shark. Several other organizations are also helping with the further study.
Grace notes, “Discovering him has us thinking about where mom and dad may be, and how they got to the Gulf. The only other known specimen was found very far away, off Peru, 36 years ago.”