October 24, 2011
Rare Cyclops Shark Found In Gulf of California
By Chad Love
I've always said that as long as I'm able to fish I'm happy, and it doesn't really matter what species I'm fishing for because it's all good. But I have to admit, this fish is making me reconsider that attitude.
From this story on nationalgeographic.com:
Talk about a one-of-a-kind discovery˜an extremely rare cyclops shark (pictured) has been confirmed in Mexico, new research shows. The 22-inch-long (56-centimeter-long) fetus has a single, functioning eye at the front of its head˜the hallmark of a congenital condition called cyclopia, which occurs in several animal species, including humans.
Earlier this year fisher Enrique Lucero León legally caught a pregnant dusky shark near Cerralvo Island in the Gulf of California. When León cut open his catch, he found the odd-looking male embryo along with its nine normal siblings. "He said, That's incredible˜wow," said biologist Felipe Galván-Magaña, of the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences in La Paz, Mexico.
Once Galván-Magaña and colleague Marcela Bejarano-Álvarez heard about the discovery˜which was put on Facebook˜the team got León's permission to borrow the shark for research. The scientists then x-rayed the fetus and reviewed previous research on cyclopia in other species to confirm that the find is indeed a cyclops shark. Cyclops sharks have been documented by scientists a few times before, also as embryos, said Jim Gelsleichter, a shark biologist at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The fact that none have been caught outside the womb suggests cyclops sharks don't survive long in the wild.
I consider myself a normal, average "man's man," but I gotta admit if I saw that thing coming over the rail I'd drop my rod, scream like a wee girl and run away, because that is some kind of freaky.