A new shark species is among 84 bizarre, deep-dwelling creatures recently discovered in the Indian Ocean. Most of the species have never been seen in this part of the world, researchers say.
The new species of shark , Mustelus manglorensis, was discovered 1,640 feet (500 meters) down, off of India's central western coastline. It has been identified as a kind of gummy shark, one of 19 known species worldwide, reported The Hindu, a national Indian newspaper.
The assortment of sharks, eels, and fishes were found over the last decade by a team of researchers from India's Cochin University of Science and Technology during deep-sea trawling expeditions at 220 different sites in the Indian Ocean.
The assessment also revealed that the Indian waters support a rich diversity of angler fish, fearsome-looking creatures that lure prey within reach of their toothy jaws with the help of a long protuberance that dangles above the fish's head and acts as bait.
The species identified during the 10-year-long study exhibit a wide variety of strange physical features some are transparent, some have black bodies, some have expandable stomachs and some have tiny eyes. Some of the fishes have enormous jaws bristling with spiny teeth, others have no jaws at all.