Researchers who collected a shark in 2010 during an expedition have described the shark as a new species. The shark, Etmopterus benchleyi, named after Jaws author Peter Benchley, is also known as the ninja shark because it is all black in coloration. It is the first lanternshark to be discovered near Central America in the central Pacific Ocean.
“We don’t know a lot about lanternsharks,” Victoria Vásquez lead author of the research paper, told Hakai Magazine. “They don’t get much recognition compared to a great white. So when it came to this shark I wanted to give it an interesting story.” Vásquez is with the Pacific Shark Research Center, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, Calif.
An interesting attribute to the ninja lanternshark is its capability to glow in the dark, which the researchers believe is used to blend with the little light found in its environment, which is 2,749 feet and 4734 feet below the surface of the ocean.
The complete paper describing the new species can be found at the Ocean Science Foundation website.