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New species, the ninja lanternshark, discovered

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Posted at 6:19 PM, Dec 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-24 18:19:13-05
Credit: Victoria Elena Vasquez/Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation A new species of lanternshark, Etmopterus benchleyi, has been named the ninja lanternshark.

Credit: Victoria Elena Vasquez/Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation
A new species of lanternshark, Etmopterus benchleyi, has been named the ninja lanternshark.

It’s not often that someone discovers a new species, especially when it’s been under their nose for years.

A shark collected during a research expedition in 2010 turns out to be a ninja lanternshark, a brand new species of shark, so named because it is all black, which is how a ninja is typically dressed.

The scientific name is Etmopterus benchleyi, a reference to “Jaws” author Peter Benchley.

Grad student Vicky Vasquez and Dr. Douglas J. Long wrote about their findings after being asked to take a closer look at the shark (along with her professor, Dr. David A. Ebert of the Pacific Shark Research Center at Cal State).

“It is also the first lanternshark to ever be discovered off of the central eastern Pacific Ocean near Central America,” Vasquez pointed out.

Four children, ages 8 to 14 years old, decided upon the name “ninja lanternshark.”