A new species of shark has been identified as the Atlantic sixgill shark. The new species which for many decades’ scientists believed to be the same as the Pacific sixgill shark measures up to 6 feet in length, making them relatively smaller than their Indo-Pacific relatives, which can grow to 15 feet or longer.
Six-gill sharks are described as having a “unique, saw-like lower teeth and six gill slits” while most sharks have five gill slits, however according to scientists that is as far as the similarities go for the two species.
The discovery was made by scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology, MarAlliance in Belize, Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
According to Phys Org. the ancestors of these sharks existed over 250 million years ago even before dinosaurs and are among the oldest creatures on earth. They live at extreme ocean depths and so have been a challenge to study.
Belizean officials are yet to speak of this discovery and the contribution made by Belizeans of MarAlliance in this monumental scientific discovery.