Only two pocket sharks have ever been seen by humans one of which was discovered by scientists during a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The first ever pocket shark was found 36 years ago off the coast of Peru and there was not another one seen until recently. So what is a Pocket Shark? The pocket sharks scientific name is Mollisquama and is only 5.5 inches long and even though it is small enough to put in your pocket that’s not that’s not the reason for it been called a pocket shark. No really! The name comes from the discovery of its remarkable pocket glands with large slit like external opening located just above the pectoral fin.
It is not clear what exactly the shark’s pocket gland is used for but scientists think it could be for releasing pheromones so they can attract a female, this theory is based on previous research on a similar species. After multiple test were done a genetics expert determined that the pocket shark is closely related to kitefin and cookie cutter sharks, who are both known for feasting on smaller animals and are a part of the Dalatiidae species.
To figure out the species Grace and his colleagues compared the newly identified specimen with written descriptions and photos of the on discovered in 1984. They found differences in appearance between the two sharks, including features of the animals’ teeth and the number of vertebrae, in addition the Gulf shark sports a cluster of light emitting organs on its belly, something of which was not seen or described in M. Parini research.
The discovery of the Pocket shark is proof of just how little we actually know about what’s in the deepest parts of the ocean! In fact there is so much of the ocean that is unexplored because we haven’t invented the needed equipment to travel so deep as the pressure just crushes anything we would try to dive down so far. To me I think it’s bizarre to know so little about what covers the majority of the earth.