Scientists have discovered a new shark species in the Gulf of Mexico that glows in the dark.
The species, called the American pocket shark, was first discovered in 2010, and has been classified as a new species based on five features that haven’t been seen in the only other known specimen of its kind.
Sharks are known to stalk and sniff out their prey before they attack. But the American pocket shark secretes a glowing fluid from a tiny pocket gland near its front fins and attracts the prey to come to them.
The new shark was first discovered in 2010 and wasn’t seen again until 2013.
Author of the study Mark Grace of the NMFS Mississippi Laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a press release that the discovery is “exceeding rare.”
The only other known specimen of its kind was captured in the eastern Pacific Ocean in 1979 and is housed at the Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. However, both are “separate species.”
“In the history of fisheries science, only two pocket sharks have ever been captured or reported,” Grace said. “Both are separate species, each from separate oceans. Both are exceedingly rare.”