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Newly discovered shark patrols Carolina waters

RATE THIS! +34
Posted in Science on 15th Aug, 2013 03:52 AM by AlexMuller

Scientists have discovered a new species of shark in the ocean off South Carolina and have named it for the region where it was found.

 

The “Carolina hammerhead,” thought to reach 11 feet long and weigh about 400 pounds, has been identified cruising the waters at Bull’s Bay north of Charleston, St. Helena Sound near Beaufort and in the Charleston harbor.

 

But biologists suspect these hammerheads occur worldwide, since evidence of them has been found in the past from Brazil to the Indian Ocean. The number of Carolina hammerheads is thought to be small.

 

“It is a distinct species,’’ said William “Trey” Driggers, a marine scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries division.

 

Driggers, a 45-year-old Sumter native and Clemson University graduate, was among a team of scientists with NOAA, the University of South Carolina, the University of New Orleans and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources who made the discovery after more than a decade of research.

 

Much of the work was done in the laboratory of USC professor Joseph Quattro, he said. Veterinarians in Columbia also collaborated on the discovery.

 

Driggers said it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between a Carolina hammerhead and the well-known scalloped hammerhead – except for one major distinction: the newly identified species has fewer vertebrae than its shark cousins.

 

Carolina hammerheads have 83 to 91 vertebrae, while scalloped hammerheads have 92 to 99 vertebrae.

 

While the distinction between scalloped and Carolina hammerheads is subtle, NOAA officials say it’s significant to conservation of the species. Scalloped hammerhead numbers are dwindling in some areas, so Carolina hammerhead numbers would be even fewer, they said.



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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-05
+0
Fbi5Fi Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Much thanks again. Will read on... Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-12
+0
lSaItS I loved your article.Much thanks again. Great. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-13
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dhOXVN A round of applause for your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-16
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nFVv0Z I loved your blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing. Reply


 

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