Scientists have identified the newest member of the group of lanternsharks, called the Ninja Shark. This aptly named shark has photophores (tiny cup-shaped organs that emit light) which allow its head to glow underwater, and a unique solid black coloring. According to Victoria Vasquez this is the first time a lanternshark has been found off the Pacific coast of Central America. The shark was given the scientific name Etmopterus benchleyi as a way to honor the author of Jaws, Peter Benchley, for his work promoting ocean conservation. But this name was too long even for the scientists, so they asked a group of kids to come up with an easier to pronounce common name, and they suggested the Ninja Shark!
This Ninja species is relatively small, at only 1.7 feet long, and researchers are not sure exactly how this shark uses its glowing head. It may use it to lure in prey like other deep sea fish, or it may use the light to become invisible to prey swimming below. Either way, this stealthy shark is definitely the Ninja of the sea.
Want to learn more? Visit http://www.livescience.com/53219-ninja-lantern-shark.html to read the article, and http://www.oceansciencefoundation.org/josf/josf17d.pdf to read the official report!
Jan 6, 2016