Scientists Discover Rare Baby Ghost Shark, Creature Known to Live in Deepest Depths of the Ocean

Ghost Shark
NIWA / Dr. Brit Finucci

The rare find has made international headlines and despite its name, the species lurks at the deepest parts of the ocean, so don't fear an attack anytime soon.

Scientists in New Zealand have discovered a rare baby ghost shark, BBC reported.

The species, also known as chimaera, are rarely seen, and sightings of their young are even more uncommon as they live at the deepest depths of the ocean, BBC reported.

The little shark was found just over 3,900-feet down underwater near the South Island recently, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said in a press release obtained by Inside Edition Digital.

The neonate, or newly hatched, was called an “exciting find” by NIWA Fisheries Scientist Dr. Brit Finucci, who was part of the team of scientists who found the shark.

“You can tell this ghost shark recently hatched because it has a full belly of egg yolk. It’s quite astonishing. Most deep-water ghost sharks are known adult specimens; neonates are infrequently reported so we know very little about them,” Finucci said in a press release.

“From better studied chimaera species, we know that juveniles and adults can have different dietary and habitat requirements," Finucci continued. "Juveniles also look dissimilar to adults, having distinctive color patterns. Finding this ghost shark will help us better understand the biology and ecology of this mysterious group of deep-water fish.”

The ghost shark is also known as rat fish, spook fish and rabbit fish and is closely related to sharks and rays, CNN reported.

Ghost sharks' embryos develop in egg capsules laid on the sea floor, feeding off a yolk until they are ready to hatch, the NIWA said.

Further tests and genetic analysis will need to be carried out to determine the exact species, Finucci said. 

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