A new species of shark that “walks” along the seabed has been discovered off the coast of Indonesia.
According to The Telegraph, the brown spotted fish, which has been called “Hemiscyllium halmahera“, is a species of bamboo shark that grows up to 27 inches in length.
The sharks live on the ocean floor and wriggle their bodies so that their fins push them along in a walking motion.
The two specimens were discovered off the coast of Ternate island, near Halmahera, in the Indonesian archipelago of Muluku.
Biologist Dr Gerald Allen, from Conservation International, led the team that discovered and filmed the new species of shark.
Allen and his team describe the new species in the International Journal of Ichthyology:
“The new species is clearly differentiated on the basis of color pattern.
“Its features include a general brown coloration with numerous clusters of mainly 2-3 dark polygonal spots, widely scattered white spots in the matrix between dark clusters.
“It has relatively few, less than 10, large dark spots on the snout region, a pair of large dark marks on the ventral surface of the head, and a fragmented post-cephalic mark consisting of a large U-shaped dark spot with a more or less continuous white margin on the lower half, followed by a vertical row of three, smaller clusters of 2-3 polygonal dark marks.”
The Telegraph continued on to say that “H. Halmahera” is also described as being similar to another shark known as “Hemiscyullium galei”, which is found in Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua.
“Bamboo sharks are all relatively small species that rarely grow more than 48 inches long, but have unusually long tails.
“They are sometimes known as longtail carpet sharks, and are generally found in tropical waters close to Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.”
Who knew sharks could walk? This new species of walking sharks is a neat little find.
[Image by wedaresort via Youtube]