A pocket-size addition to Shark Week

❝ Sharks are known to stalk and sniff out prey before they attack. But all this newly discovered shark species has to do is glow in the dark, and the prey comes to them.

The 5 1/2-inch American Pocket Shark is the first of its kind to be discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new Tulane University study. It’s less fearsome than it is wondrous…

❝ According to the paper, the shark secretes a glowing fluid from a tiny pocket gland near its front fins. It’s thought to help attract prey, who are drawn to the glow while the tiny predator, practically invisible from below, stealthily attacks.

Looks more like bait than predator. Though – come to think of it – ever been bitten by a New England coastal sandworm? Flatfish always loved ’em. I don’t know why.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

3 thoughts on “A pocket-size addition to Shark Week

  1. Jacques says:

    Re: New England coastal sandworms, I’m assuming those may be Alitta virens since that species has “two large pincer teeth which are capable of biting humans” [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alitta_virens ] while lugworms don’t bite.
    Speaking of lugworms: After years of research and clinical trials, French start-up Hemarina is almost ready to start selling lugworm blood for organ transplants. (Jan 2019) https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/lugworm-blood-coming-soon-to-a-pharmacy-near-you/ The lugworm is a universal donor; its blood doesn’t have any of the A, B, or O antigens that give human blood its type and its hemoglobin is so effective at transporting oxygen that organs immersed in their solution can survive for days without damage, rather than hours, as in the past. In human blood, one hemoglobin protein holds four oxygen molecules at a time. A lugworm hemoglobin protein holds 156.

    Oceans occupy 70% of the total surface area of the Earth and over 90% of the living space on the planet. Humans have managed to explore only about 5% of it so far, the rest of the ocean remains a mystery.

  2. Pescadero says:

    “Sharks Have Few Places To Hide From Fishing, Study Shows” (NPR 7/24/19) https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/07/24/744605834/sharks-have-few-places-to-hide-from-fishing-study-shows Article Includes link to “Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries” (journal Nature)
    (Guardian UK): “The world’s shark populations are at increasing risk of becoming bycatch of international fishing fleets, which harvest them in open oceans where no legal protections exist, Australian researchers have said. Prof Rob Harcourt, from Macquarie University, said large sharks were more vulnerable to longline fishing and called for urgent action to protect them by implementing management strategies on the high seas. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/25/sharks-at-increasing-risk-of-becoming-fishing-bycatch
    “More People Die Taking Selfies Than by Shark Attacks :”Selfiecides” account for more than five times the number of fatalities, and the numbers are only rising.” (Newsweek 6/25/19) https://www.newsweek.com/selfies-deadlier-shark-attacks-1446363

  3. “Out of the water now, everybody out!” says:

    “Sharks Are Evolving to Walk on Land” https://futurism.com/the-byte/sharks-evolving-walk-land
    The walking sharks were discovered by researchers during a 12-year study by the University of Queensland with Conservation International, the CSIRO, Florida Museum of Natural History, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.
    UQ’s Dr Christine Dudgeon said the ornately patterned sharks were the top predator on reefs during low tides when they used their specially adapted fins to walk in very shallow water. https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2020/01/walking-sharks-discovered-tropics
    There are now nine known species of walking sharks, according to research published Tuesday in the journal Marine and Freshwater Research. http://www.publish.csiro.au/mf/MF19163
    “Walking Sharks” (University of Queensland video) https://vimeo.com/385921449

    The Landshark finds his dinner by knocking on doors. NBC Saturday Night Live [Season 1, 1975]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_NS2H55dxI

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