Friday, October 03, 2008

Mystery Shark!!!

Check out this Shark by clicking on the pics.

It was brought up and photographed when jigging for Pakapaka, a prized deepwater Snapper (likely Etelis coruscans) on a seamount in 1,000m of water off the island of Kadavu in Fiji.

My knee-jerk reaction when hearing the story was "Silky!" (C. falciformis) - but upon seeing the picture, the first dorsal seems just a bit high for it to be that species.
Never having personally seen a Bronzie (C. brachyurus) but having heard about numerous, albeit always unconfirmed "sightings" in Fiji, I was hoping that this could be the first confirmed record of that species for that country.

And yet - that caudal keel continues to irritate me!
The only Carcharhinid Shark with a pronounced caudal keel I've seen is the Tiger, clearly not the Shark in question.
So, quite frankly, I don't have the faintest clue!

Having contacted the "experts", the only educated guess so far is Bignose Shark (C. altimus), this yet again with a question mark. To me, the alignment of the free rear of the pec with the first dorsal look wrong - but who am I to say...

Anybody out there who knows?


stuartinfiji said...

Thanks for having a go at IDing this Mike.

Big Nose Shark huh? Our closest was a possible Dusky Shark, but it's not right for that either.

Anyway look forward to possibly attracting some more experts opinions.


DaShark said...

Well it niggles me - we'll come up with some ID, promise........


Anonymous said...

I'm going to vote for a Husky Dusky.

DaShark said...

Thank you El Tiburon!

Now, with you being a Shark, I really shouldn't ask - but can you tell me what leads you to this conclusion?

Da Shark

Anonymous said...

I just realized that I never answered this question. Sorry.

What initially got me thinking Dusky was the pale stripy marking on its side. The fin configuration looks exactly the same as the Dusky Shark description in my copy of The Shark Watcher's Handbook. But it could be a Big Nose...anyone else?

DaShark said...

Thank you!

indeed, everything points that way - except for that irritating caudal keel which just never gets mentioned in Carcharhinid Sharks except for Tigers!

Go wonder, so far the "established" scientists keep scratching their heads.....

Will drop you a line if/when we dispose of an unequivocal ID - fingers crossed!