From Wildlife Extra:
New species of shark discovered off Carolina coast
A new species of hammerhead shark has been discovered off the coast of Carolina, USA, by Joe Quattro from University of South Carolina. Called the Carolina hammerhead (Sphyrna gilberti), it is a member of the Sphyrnidae shark family.
Despite always being under scientists noses the shark has long eluded discovery because it is outwardly indistinguishable from the common scalloped hammerhead and it was always thought they were the same species. However on further analysis it was discovered the Carolina had less vertebrae than the common scalloped, making it a genetically different and a new species. But when and why this deviation took place still puzzles scientists and more research will be carried put by teams from the university and other institutions. They will also try and determine numbers of this new species.
The most distinguishing characteristic of this shark, as in all hammerheads, is the ‘hammer’ on its head. The shark‘s eyes and nostrils are at the tips of the extensions. Like its indistinguishable sister it grows up to 4.3m in leand weighs up to 152.4 kg.
The scientific description of this new shark species is here.
November 2013: A ban on the removal of shark fins and the dumping of the carcasses at sea is being proposed by the New Zealand government. At present it is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act to fin a shark and return it to sea alive. However, it is quite lawful to catch a shark, kill it, remove its fins and dump the carcass at sea. The shark fins are valuable for making shark fin soup which is a delicacy in Asia, and for the production of many traditional Asian medicines:.
- Carolina Hammerhead Sharks Latest Shark Species Discovered (guardianlv.com)
- Rare New Species of Carolina Hammerhead Shark Discovered (scienceworldreport.com)
- Carolina Hammerhead Shark, Newly Named Species, Discovered By Accident (ecobooks4kids.wordpress.com)
- New shark species, Carolina Hammerhead, discovered off South Carolina coast – Philly.com (philly.com)
- New Hammerhead Shark Discovered Near South Carolina (newsy.com)
- New Hammerhead Shark Species Found Off South Carolina (livescience.com)
- X-ray of a hammerhead shark (boingboing.net)
- New Species Of Hammerhead Shark Discovered Of Carolina Coast (americanlivewire.com)