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Extinct Shark Found in Kuwait Fish Market

Travelers Today       By    Ashley Sneddon

Updated: Jan 13, 2014 11:26 AM EST

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shark, extinct species, smoothtooth blacktip shark, extinct fish, kuwait, travel news, animals, animal conservation, marine, marine conservation
Diving zookeeper Guido Westhoff uses a ruler to measure a Blacktip shark during animal stock taking at the Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg December 29, 2009. REUTERS/Christian Charisius
Diving zookeeper Guido Westhoff uses a ruler to measure a Blacktip shark during animal stock taking at the Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg December 29, 2009.(Photo : Reuters)

An extinct shark has been discovered at a fishmarket in Kuwait after having thought to be extinct for more than a century. 

Scholar and naturalist Wilhelm Hein returned from Yemen with a variety of plants and animals in 1902, which wasn't identified until 1985 as the first and only specimen of a smoothtooth blacktip shark.  Because of its apparent rarity, the head of a shark specialist group declared it to be an "unknown or extinct species".  It was only during a trip by the Shark Conservation society to Yemen in 2008 that they noticed a species of whaler shark that "looked different" from the rest.  Later analysis showed the shark to be a smoothtooth blacktip; the first seen in over a century.

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The sharks are currently on the extinction list, which was concluded before their recent discovery.  Recent studies have found another 47 of these sharks in fishmarkets throughout Yemen, greatly increasing knowledge about the smoothtooth blacktip shark, such as how many pups they can have and how big they can grow.  Researchers are now waiting at the harbour at dawn for the boats to come in.  Species are then identified, weighed and counted before they can be sold in the fishmarkets. 

This innovative way of conducting research has been instrumental in discovering many unknown and endangered species of fish.



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