January 04, 2012
Scientists Discover Hybrid Sharks in Australia
By Chad Love
As if normal sharks aren't interesting enough, scientists in Australia have discovered the world's first instance of "hybrid" sharks.
From this story on foxnews.com:
Scientists have discovered the world's first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, with multiple generations of the new creature found along the nation's east coast. Scientists say the discovery of interbred sharks could signal the presence of new "tropical" sharks in waters as far south as Sydney, The Australian reported. "Wild hybrids are usually hard to find, so detecting hybrids and their offspring is extraordinary," said Jennifer Ovenden from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.
Fifty-seven of the marine animals were found along a 1,243-mile (2,000-km) stretch between northern New South Wales and far north Queensland, with Ovenden calling the discovery "unprecedented." The new shark is a hybrid of the genetically distinct Australian blacktip, whose range extends north from Brisbane, and the larger common blacktip found in southeastern coastal waters. The scientists say interbreeding between the two shark species is a sign the animals are adapting to climate change and they also warn that hybridization could make the sharks stronger.
That's cool and all, but let's face it, blacktip sharks just don’t have the same cachet as say, great whites, bull sharks or hammerheads. What do you think would be the coolest, best fighting or just plain terrifying hybrid shark?