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Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Researcher and Colleagues Identify Four New Shark Species

long thin shark with elongated snout and sharp teeth

African dwarf sawshark (California Academy of Sciences photo).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

David A. Ebert, program director for the Pacific Shark Research Center at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and colleagues have identified four new species of deep sea sharks. The discoveries includes the African dwarf sawshark (Pristiophorus nancyae), “notable for its elongated blade-like snout, or ‘rostrum,’ which is studded with sharp teeth and used as a weapon. The sawshark will swim through a school of fish swinging its rostrum back and forth, stunning and injuring prey, and then swim back to consume the casualties,” according to the California Academy of Sciences. Ebert and his colleagues also identified two species of lanternshark and one species of angel shark. Identifying species is critical to preserving biodiversity, the bedrock of healthy of ecosystems. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories administers the masters of science program for a consortium of seven California State University campuses in northern and central California headed by San Jose State.

Read a related California Academy of Sciences news release.