Black Ninja Lanternshark Named After Jaws Author Peter Benchley

Posted on January 6, 2016

Black Ninja Lanternshark

A black lanternshark has been given the common name of ninja lanternshark. The shark was first discovered in 2010 off the Pacific coast of Central America. It was found at depths ranging from 836 and 1443 meters.

The scientists say the newly named lanternshark can be distinguished from similar lanternsharks by its "coloration, proportional body measurements, meristic counts, arrangement of dermal denticles, and size at maturity."

Newsweek reports that the scientists considered naming the shark "super ninja shark" but instead settled on ninja lanternshark. KUTV reports that four children game up with the common name. The scientific name, Etmopterus benchleyi, honors Jaws author and shark conservationist Peter Benchley.

The shark has very sharp small translucent teeth that the scientists believe are used to eat small fish and crustaceans. Like other lanternsharks the ninja lanternshark produces a glowing effect through its photophores. A research paper on the lanternshark can be found here in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.

Photo: Ocean Science Foundation