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Hammerhead shark double whammy
Date:3/26/2012

scalloped hammerhead, in the range of 170 vs. 190. An analysis of the DNA suggests that the new species and the scalloped hammerhead separated from each other approximately 4.5 million years ago, a surprisingly long time given how similar they look externally.

There are three well-documented species of large hammerhead sharks (scalloped, great and smooth hammerheads), and their fins have high value in the international shark fin trade. The finding of this new hammerhead now brings the total to four large species with this unique hammerhead shape.

Hammerheads and other large sharks have been overfished for years. Scientists are concerned that further reductions in their numbers and biodiversity may irreversibly alter the ocean's intricate food web and upset ecosystem balance. For example, a high-profile study has shown that the large reduction of sharks off the U.S. East Coast is associated with a huge increase in the population of one of their prey --- the cownose ray --- which in turn has then been responsible for overeating the bay scallop, dramatically reducing the supply of scallops for the fishing industry.


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Contact: Ken Ma
ken.ma@nova.edu
954-621-7961
Nova Southeastern University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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