The deep ocean and the creatures that live in the deep are mysterious and that is what has intrigued scientists over the years. In a joined effort between researchers from different organizations, the team was able to distinguish a new species of sharks that resides within the Atlantic Ocean. The new species named as ‘Atlantic Sixgill’ is so elusive and difficult to find that the researchers took decades of time to identify it and differentiate between its relatives living in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Researchers claim that these species belong to species which are deep-sea predators.
In took decades for the scientists to distinguish between newly discovered Atlantic Sixgill sharks and its relative found in the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. As these both sharks show striking resemblances, scientists misunderstand them as one but the recent study has revealed that the Atlantic sixgill sharks are indeed different at its molecular level which is not visible to naked eyes. According to the research paper, scientists studied 1,310 base pairs of two mitochondrial genes of the newly discovered sharks. This is when the researchers came to know about how different these species are from its relatives. Scientists have named it as ‘Hexanchus Vitulus’ or Atlantic Sixgill Sharks. These species can grow to 6 ft compared to 15 ft of its counterpart from Indo-Pacific Ocean. Other difference is that the newly discovered species have six gills while the one found in Pacific and the Indian Ocean have five gills.
The research concluded that the newly discovered sharks are more than 250 million-year-old which means these aquatic animals are in existence even before when dinosaurs came on Earth. These species belong to deep-sea predators that live thousands of feet deep in the ocean. This fact made it extremely difficult to distinguish the difference over the years. Daly-Engel, assistant professor at Florida Tech stated that now they have discovered the difference between these species.
The research papers contributed by researchers from MarAlliance, Florida Institute of Technology, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory has been published in the journal Marine Biodiversity.