Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cyclops Shark Discovered In Sea of Cortez

3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From NT by Steve Tarlow

At 22 inches long, the cyclops shark fetus may not be large enough to inspire deep sea nightmares, but the fact that it has just a single eye at the front of its head – a product of the congenital condition cyclopia – makes it no less unsettling. Several species, humans included, are susceptible to the birth defect.

On sight, León knew he’d found something amazing. Biologist Felipe Galván-Magaña of the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences in La Paz, Mexico, told National Geographic that he first heard of León’s discovery on Facebook. He immediately contacted the fisherman to ask permission to borrow the one-eyed shark for research.

X-rays and a review of previous research confirmed that the spawn of León’s catch was indeed a cyclops shark, one of the very few cases ever documented. According to University of North Florida shark biologist Jim Gelsleichter, the only recorded cases have been as embryos, which suggests that cyclops sharks don’t survive in the wild for long.

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