Walking Shark Found on Remote Island in Indonesia After Scientists Discover Several Ant Species

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By Myles Collier , Christian Post Contributor
August 30, 2013|3:44 pm

Scientists have discovered a new species of "walking" shark off the shores of a remote island in Indonesian island.

Researchers did reveal that the sharks don't actually walk per se but do use their pectoral fins to help move about the coral structures close to shore, according to a Fahmi, a shark researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Science.

The animal was named hemiscyllium halmahera after the eastern Indonesian island of Halmahera, where it was discovered. The sharks are also referred to as epaulette sharks, given that many of the sharks have markings that resemble look similar to military epaulettes, according to a Conservation International statement.

The shark can reach a length of over two feet and pose no threat to humans, Mark Erdmann, a marine biologist and adviser with Conservation International who was also a co-author on the study describing the species, told LiveScience.com.

Discovering new species seems to be a common occurrence as of late given that 33 new ant species were recently discovered in Central America and the Caribbean.

The new ant species are near-blind, and also small in size, each being less than one-twelfth of an inch in length (2mm).

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Jack Longino, an entomologist at the University of Utah, has released a statement saying that scientists have named about 30 percent of the ants after Mayan deities. He said, "The new species were found mostly in small patches of forest that remain in a largely agricultural landscape, highlighting the importance of forest conservation efforts in Central America."

Scientists have explained that the ants play a vital part in the ecosystem of the location; aerating soil and pollinating plants as they go about their work.

Longino also explained that under the microscope, the ants are the "stuff of nightmares. Their faces are broad shields, the eyes reduced to tiny points at the edges and the fierce jaws bristling with sharp teeth. They look a little like the monster in 'Alien.'"

 

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