Walking Shark Video Goes Viral; New Species Found in Indonesia (PHOTO)

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By Jon Campbell , Christian Post Contributor
August 30, 2013|11:44 pm

A new species of walking shark has been found in the reefs of Indonesia, according to reports out this week.

Walking shark (Photo: YouTube/ConservationDotOrg Screen Shot)

This screen shot shows an image of a new species of walking shark found in the reefs of Indonesia.

Shark expert Fahmi has said, "This is the third walking shark species to be described from eastern Indonesia in the past six years, which highlights our tremendous shark and ray biodiversity.

"We now know that six of the nine known walking shark species occur in Indonesian waters, and these animals are diver favorites with excellent potential to help grow our marine tourism industry."

The shark has been identified as the epaulette shark, or Hemiscyllium halmahera, and was in fact first photographed in 2008. It has now been formally identified as a new species in the journal Aqua.

Walking sharks reportedly use pectoral and pelvic fins to move across the sea bed, while searching for food.

They have also been described as having a distinctive pattern of brown spots on their heads, which distinguishes them from other working sharks.

Indonesia is the largest exporter of dried shark fins, as well as rays and skates.

Dr, Mark Erdmann for the Conservation International Blog wrote: "If you asked me a year ago about the long-term future of shark populations in Indonesia, I probably would have responded: 'Bleak.' But what an amazing difference a year can make!"

Here is a video showing footage of the new walking shark species:

 

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