BREAKING
Lee Observer 5 2720
Full Story
By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Newly discovered ninja lanternshark has glowing head
Placeholder Image
MOSS LANDING, Calif. A stealthy shark off the coast of Central America has an unusual advantage over its prey: its head glows.

The Etmopterus benchleyi is the first lanternshark species to be discovered in that area, according to a report published in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation on Dec. 21. Its scientific name was given in honor of Jaws author Peter Benchley, who dedicated much of him time to promoting oceanic conservation.

The studys lead author, Vicky Vsquez, turned to her young cousins for a more catchy common name. They came up with ninja lanternshark based on the sharks uniform black color and cloaking ability. The report states that the sharks appearance is somewhat reminiscent of the typical outfit and stealthy behavior of a Japanese ninja.

We dont know a lot about lanternsharks, Vsquez told Hakai Magazine. They dont get much recognition compared to a great white, so when it came to this shark I wanted to give it an interesting story.

Eight of the sharks were collected from underwater depths of between 836 and 1443 meters, or about .5 and .9 miles, for the research. Researchers determined that most of the sharks photophores, which give off light, are on its snout and head.

While its photophores arent quite as dense as other lanternsharks, researchers believe the shark gives off a blue light. The faint light could help the shark blend in with shadows and lure in prey, LiveScience reported.

There are 37 other known species of Etmopterus sharks, which are commonly referred to as lanternsharks.