Hooray! New shark species discovered- although it looks almost identical to it’s so called twin, the scalloped hammerhead shark (which you can view up close and personal at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as seen in a photo I took below).
The new species is still unnamed, but it look so similar to the scalloped hammerhead that it’s restricting the efforts to save that already endangered species.
This new species- which I will name for the time being- “Awesome Hammerhead”- has a large range in the oceans. It has been discovered near the southern coast of Brazil as well as the eastern coast of the United States. Which makes it even more difficult to start researching this new species.
Looking almost exactly like the endangered scalloped hammerhead is not a good thing for the new “Awesome Hammerheads” … that’s because the scalloped sharks are being unsustainably fished for their ‘precious’ fins which is greatly reducing their numbers. (THIS IS NOT OK) Just throwing it out there, the “Awesome Hammerhead” will probably not be around for long if we don’t crack down on illegal shark finning and protect these great predators of the sea.
At least 7% of the sharks in the US waters originally thought to have been scalloped hammerheads turn out to be the new species which I like to call- “Awesome Hammerhead.” Coming to the actualization that the real scalloped hammerhead population could be fewer than we thought..with an already endangered species this isn’t good news at all.
The new look-alike hammerhead is identical to its near twin, the scalloped hammerhead, except for a few key differences:
- distinctive DNA
- 20 fewer vertebrae (about 170 versus 190)
- a genetic profile suggesting it separated from the scalloped hammerhead 4.5 MILLION years ago
That’s an incredibly long period of time, considering how similar the two different sharks look externally. Crazzzy.
While writing this piece- I found a video from the Ellen Degeneres show regarding the danger of fishing nets which I feel is a good ending to this blog post. Keep the ball rolling on sustainable fishing efforts everyone!! Sit back, watch, and learn.