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New shark species discovered in Japan

In the waters surrounding Japan, researchers have managed to discover and document a new species of dogfish shark. The animal is an endemic species, found only in this specific location, in the shallow waters of the north-western Pacific Ocean on the southern coast of the cherry blossom country. Sharks are some of the oldest creatures
Published: June 16, 2020 - 00:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 20:07
New shark species discovered in Japan

In the waters surrounding Japan, researchers have managed to discover and document a new species of dogfish shark. The animal is an endemic species, found only in this specific location, in the shallow waters of the north-western Pacific Ocean on the southern coast of the cherry blossom country.

Sharks are some of the oldest creatures to inhabit the Earth, with some species having lived here for millions of years. While many species have already been identified in vast areas of the oceans, we are well aware that the depths can still hold many secrets. This time, however, scientists have discovered a new species of shark in the shallow, warm waters of southern Japan.

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squalus-shiraii

The latest species to be discovered has been given the name Squalus shiraii and, as the international research team behind the discovery assures, has several distinctive characteristics. The name of the new species is no accident and was given to honour Dr Shigeru Shirai, a prominent Japanese ichthyologist and expert on spiny dogfish.

north-western-pacific-ocean

The newly discovered species measures 59-77 cm in length and has distinctive features such as a tall first dorsal fin, as well as a caudal fin with white broad margins. For the moment, the species is believed to be endemic and only found in shallow tropical waters in southern Japan.

Initially, the species was mistaken for another representative of the spiny dogfish Squalus mitsukurii, due to the high similarity of physical characteristics, such as similar body shape, snout length and fin structure. However, research has revealed that the two species share quite distinct differences.

Source: ibtimes.sg, Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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