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New Walking Shark Find by Coelacanth Discoverer

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 19th, 2006

New Shark

There’s good discovery news out of Indonesia, in various widely reported dispatches, such as by our buddy David Pescovitz over at Boing Boing, in his notes, "Dozens of new undersea species discovered off Indonesia ."

Pescovitz writes:

Researchers from Conservation International discovered dozens of new species in the water off Indonesia’s Papua province. This epaulette shark (Hemiscyillum freycineti) walks around the bottom of the sea on its fins. From the Associated Press:

The team from U.S.-based Conservation International also warned that the area–known as Bird’s Head Seascape–is under danger from fishermen who use dynamite and cyanide to net their catches and called on Indonesia’s government to do more to protect it…

"Above and below water, it’s simply mind blowing," (said Mark Erdmann of Conservation International.)

Erdmann and his team claim to have discovered 52 new species, including 24 new species of fish, 20 new species of coral and eight new species of shrimp. Among the highlights were an epaulette shark that walks on its fins, a praying mantis-like shrimp and scores of reef-building corals, he said.

====End of Pescovitz’s quotes=====

Pescovitz also has an interesting link to a Fark piece of humor related to this new shark, but you’ll have to go to Boing Boing to read that one.

Not mentioned in any of the reports I’ve read, Mark and Arnaz Mehta Erdmann were the discoverers of the Indonesian coelacanth in 1998. Congratulations to another successful Erdmann team and their new findings.

Indonesian Coelacanth

Above photograph: The first Indonesian coelacanth captured by locals, on the team lead by scientists Mark and Arnaz Mehta Erdmann, who described the discovery in the September 24, 1998 issue of Nature.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


10 Responses to “New Walking Shark Find by Coelacanth Discoverer”

  1. cor2879 responds:

    Not sure how I would feel about eating fish caught using cyanide… then again perhaps I already do and just don’t realize it!

  2. fredfacker responds:

    I agree cor2879, with all the mercury already in fish, I’d hate to think about adding cyanide to my meal.

  3. Capt. Jack responds:

    Saw the article this morning on Drudge, very neat. Another constant reminder that there is *so* much out there yet to be discovered!

    I especially enjoy these new shrimp species being discovered – first a furry shrimp and now a praying mantis shrimp! I’m still waiting for the pirate shrimp, maybe a one-eyed fellow that scowls at you.

  4. MrInspector responds:

    The cyanide gives it a nice almondine flavor. But it gives you a heck of a case of indigestion ;)

  5. UberKyle responds:

    Cyanide fishing is not for food – its how they catch reef fish for the pet trade.

    A release of cyanide into the water stuns fish in a given area long enough to be easily caught – effectively stripping the reef of all life, taking what lives, and leaving what it may have killed.

    I don’t know much about dynamite fishing in the ocean, but that is certainly to catch them for food.
    …….
    Cool shark!

  6. Mnynames responds:

    The use of cyanide to catch fish for the pet trade is a serious issue. Most fish caught in this manner will not live very long, but long enough for the poisoner to make a profit, and maybe a few middle men down the line. The average poisoned fish (That doesn’t die on site, that is) probably makes it to the distributors and pet stores here in America before keeling over dead.

    Unfortunately, the only way to tell if the fish has been harvested in this manner is to cut it open and have a look inside. In the Phillipines, this has become such an issue now that fish are randomly sampled on a weekly basis after they are brought in by the fishermen. If any are found to have been poisoned, the buyers refuse any more from that fisherman.

    In my opinion, this practice should be adopted everywhere tropical fish are collected from reefs. Another alternative is to raise tropical fish for sale here in the States, although to me this denies subsistance collectors any income at all.

    As for the Epaulette Shark, while I applaud the discovery of a new species, all the reports I read made it sound like this new one was the first shark seen to exhibit this behaviour. On the contrary, it’s what all Epaulette Sharks do. We had one here at the small aquarium where I work, and I don’t think I ever saw him swim.

  7. twblack responds:

    Very cool new discovery.

  8. shumway10973 responds:

    Just goes to show that there are sooooo many other critters walking around out there that conventional science won’t admit to until they are captured or “proven” (how ever that is needed to be done) to exist. I can kinda understand their relunctance to admit something like loch ness or even big foot, but there are so many others out there that are of normal size that we have over looked simply because the popular belief says they don’t exist. I only say loch ness and big foot because of their size–where do you hide a 500 lb gorilla? It’s not easy. I’m not saying that just because it is common belief that all dinos died out. very cool find, very cool fish.

  9. busterggi responds:

    The video they took of the walking shark is fun but if you haven’t checked out the photos of the other fish do it. There are some incredible beautiful fish out there.

  10. Buddy1 responds:

    That is a pretty cool looking shark. Our planets oceans are huge. They cover most of the planet. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if there were thousands more Tropical Fish out there waiting to be discovered.



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