Navigation Links
New species of ghostshark from California and Baja California
Date:9/22/2009

New species are not just discovered in exotic localeseven places as urban as California still yield discoveries of new plants and animals. Academy scientists recently named a new species of chimaera, an ancient and bizarre group of fishes distantly related to sharks, from the coast of Southern California and Baja California, Mexico. The new species, the Eastern Pacific black ghostshark (Hydrolagus melanophasma), was described in the September issue of the international journal Zootaxa by a research team including Academy Research Associates David Ebert and Douglas J. Long. Additional co-authors included Kelsey James, a graduate student at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and Dominique Didier from Millersville University in Pennsylvania. This is the first new species of cartilaginous fish to be described from California waters since 1947.

Chimaeras, also called ratfish, rabbitfish, and ghostsharks, are perhaps the oldest and most enigmatic groups of fishes alive today. Their closest living relatives are sharks, but their evolutionary lineage branched off from sharks nearly 400 million years ago, and they have remained an isolated group ever since. Like sharks, chimaeras have skeletons composed of cartilage and the males have claspers for internal fertilization of females. Unlike sharks, male chimaeras also have retractable sexual appendages on the forehead and in front of the pelvic fins and a single pair of gills. Most species also have a mildly venomous spine in front of the dorsal fin. Chimaeras were once a very diverse and abundant group, as illustrated by their global presence in the fossil record. They survived through the age of dinosaurs mostly unchanged, but today these fishes are relatively scarce and are usually confined to deep ocean waters, where they have largely avoided the reach of explorers and remained poorly known to science.

This new species belongs to the genus Hydrolagus, Latin for 'water rabbit' because of its grinding tooth plates reminiscent of a rabbit's incisor teeth. This new species was originally collected as early as the mid 1960s, but went unnamed until this year because its taxonomic relationships were unclear. A large blackish-purple form, Hydrolagus melanophasma (melanophasma is Latin for 'black ghost'), is found in deep water from the coast of Southern California, along the western coast of Baja California, and into the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). This species is known from a total of nine preserved museum specimens, and from video footage taken of it alive by a deep-water submersible in the Sea of Cortez.

Renewed exploration of the world's deep oceans and more extensive taxonomic analysis of chimaera specimens in museum collections have led to a boom in the number of new chimaera species discovered worldwide in the last decade, including two species from the Galpagos Islands named by Didier, Ebert, and Long in 2006 that were originally collected by Academy scientist John McCosker. With further advances in research and discovery, perhaps more will be known about these living fossils and their diversity in the world's oceans.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Stone
sstone@calacademy.org
415-379-5121
California Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New species discovered on whale skeletons
2. Genetic sex determination let ancient species adapt to ocean life
3. As ash borer claims more trees, researcher at ISU works for species survival
4. Species diversity helps ASU researchers refine analyses of human gene mutations
5. Global warming threatens tropical species, the ecosystem and its by-products
6. Scientists discover new species of crustacean on Lanzarote
7. Genome duplication responsible for more plant species than previously thought
8. Beautiful plumage: Feather color and sex start the species revolution
9. Red List overlooks island species
10. A global model for the origin of species independent of geographical isolation
11. Mystery E. coli genes essential for survival of many species
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New species of ghostshark from California and Baja California
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through ... Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion of ... sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within ... advanced design and manufacturing event will take place June ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 No two people ... at the New York University Tandon School of ... have found that partial similarities between prints are ... in mobile phones and other electronic devices can ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , ... server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune ... already secured over 15 million users across the financial ... connected home product suites and physical access represent a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... Koert van Mensvoort - founder of the Next Nature Network and ... has written a ,Letter to Humanity, in support of International Earth ... and victim to its own technology, but to employ technology to enhance our ... ... of the Next Nature Network and Fellow of ‘Next Nature’ at the University ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... The Vibrating ... key device for generating monodisperse droplets of known diameters for research applications such ... monodisperse solid particles by drying monodisperse droplets. , The VOAG requires forcing ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , ... April 18, 2017 , ... ... Halo Labs . The move comes after the company changed focus to making ... our new brand and our new technology,” says CEO Robert Hart. Founders Bernardo ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 19, 2017 , ... WHO: Peggy Lillis ... through education and advocacy. Founded in 2010 in memory of a single-parent mom ... foundation has become the most-consulted source for patient-focused information on C. diff infections ...
Breaking Biology Technology: