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Home / US / A rare giant shark is currently housed in a Smithsonian block of ice, allowing researchers to hope to unravel clues about its evolution.

A rare giant shark is currently housed in a Smithsonian block of ice, allowing researchers to hope to unravel clues about its evolution.



Since its nickname suggests megamouth, Megachasma pelagios, According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, they are known for their large mouth on their round heads and they are thought to be up to 17 feet long. According to the museum, there are only about 70 confirmed sightings of the elusive shark in the world.
Now, a megamouth that fishermen caught off the coast of Taiwan in 2018 is lying on a giant block of ice at the Smithsonian National Center for Natural History. The Smithsonian released the news on Tuesday through an article in their magazine.
Paul Clerkin, a graduate researcher at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, said in the article: “When it comes to sharks, they are probably one of the most unique and bizarre-looking.

“Their mouths kept opening and their upper jaws closed like a convertible hood.”

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According to the Oceana conservation group, this shark can weigh 2,600 pounds and is considered the smallest of the three filter-eating sharks, behind the whale shark and the sun-dried shark, according to the Oceana conservation group. The first Megamouth known to have been accidentally discovered by the United States Navy in 1976 was in Hawaiian waters.
US Navy crew discovered the first known megamouth.
The crew used two sea anchors like a parachute that can reach a depth of 500 feet, according to the state Department of Land and Resources. As the anchors were pulled up, they discovered a 1,500-pound megamouth was entangled in the lines. It didn’t exist.
Since then, confirmed shark sightings have occurred around the world in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Discover clues about the evolution of the shark

Clerkin, who collected a new Smithsonian specimen in Taiwan, will collaborate with other researchers to unravel the clues behind the mysterious animal’s life. But they will act in reverse to the clock because the specimen will begin to decompose.

“Understanding the life history of sharks is very important, especially because we do not fully know their role in the marine ecosystem or their susceptibility to stress caused by sharks,” Clerking said. man-made. “They have great influence in the world.”

Once research is complete, the shark will be preserved with formaldehyde and then ethyl alcohol for long-term preservation, according to Smithsonian. It will join more than six million other specimens from the museum’s Fish Division collection.
“Even if we never collect one again, we still know that megamouth sharks have existed on Earth at this time,” said Dr. Lynne Parenti, Indian-Thai Freshwater Manager Binh Duong and Coastal fish at the museum, said in the article. “We are preserving this for everyone because of what it shows about fundamental biodiversity. It can also answer questions that haven’t been asked yet.”

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