A group of researchers have identified a new shark species in the Atlantic Ocean.The scientists using genetic testing confirmed that the new species is different from its counterparts residing in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.The species have been named Atlantic sixgill shark. Measuring up to 6 feet in length, Atlantic sixgill sharks are far smaller than their Indo-Pacific relatives, which can grow to 15 feet or longer.
They have unique, saw-like lower teeth and six gill slits, as their name suggests, while most sharks have five gill slits. With their new classification, Atlantic sixgill sharks will now have a better chance at long-term survival. With ancestors dating back to over 250 million years, well before dinosaurs, the sixgill sharks are among the oldest creatures on Earth.
Despite this new discovery, there is still a lot that is not know about these elusive creatures. They are mostly found in deep-sea waters that are out of reach for biologists. They’re incredibly cryptic the genetics was really the only clue that they belong to a different species. Part of it is that they’re so big, and so deep, that they’re rarely caught, and it’s difficult to compare one specimen to another.