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New Shark Species Discovered Off Central American Coast

First Posted: Dec 25, 2015 12:23 AM EST
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A new species of shark, named the "ninja lanternshark," is the first of its kind found in Central American waters, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.

Because of the creature's sleek, black color, the species is called a ‘ninja' shark that clings to the darkness in the depths of the ocean--resulting in incredibly pale skin, according to a news release--meanwhile, containing skin cells that make it glow in the dark. Its scientific name is Etmopterus benchleyi and a reference to "Jaws," researchers say. 

"It had photophores (light emitting organs)," said researcher Victoria Vasquez, via The Huffington Post. "Two dorsal fins with a spine on each one, and dignathic heterodonty (upper teeth and lower teeth are different.)"

The species was first identified by researchers in 2010 and can be found in the Pacific Ocean off of the coast of Central American waters, varying in depth from 2,742 feet to 4,734 feet deep. The shark is also quite small--with the largest specimen reported at a mere 20 inches in length. However, the researchers have still not yet captured an adult male.

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