New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Specie in news: Megamouth Shark


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Megamouth Shark

Mains level: Not Much

Megamouth Shark

Central Idea

  • In a historic moment for marine biology, a pregnant megamouth shark, a rare and elusive deepwater species, was discovered washed up on a beach in the Philippines.
  • This is only the 60th ever seen and the first ever observed to be pregnant.

About Megamouth Shark


Scientific Name Megachasma pelagios
Discovery First discovered in 1976 off the coast of Hawaii.
Appearance Large mouth, bulbous head, rubbery lip, dark grey/black body with a white underbelly.
Size Up to 5.5 meters (18 feet) in length.
Diet Filter feeder, consuming plankton, jellyfish, and small fish.
Habitat Deepwater species, found at depths of 150 to 1,000 meters (490 to 3,280 feet).
Behavior Rarely seen, swims with mouth open to filter food.
Reproduction Presumed to be ovoviviparous, but details are largely unknown.
Distribution Wide but rare distribution in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
Conservation Status Least Concerned (IUCN)
Scientific Interest Valued for its unique anatomy and role in the deep-sea ecosystem.


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