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Alien fish caught in Cabo

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A captain of a well-known Cabo, sport fishing company - Pisces – last week caught a strange fish- shaped shark in the waters around Los Cabos.

Captain Jamie Rendon immediately realised he had caught something very unusual when he hauled aboard the pale pink/whitish creature with a distended stomach. Further unusual features were the 3 gills on each side of the head (sharks usually have 5 or 7) and the very rough skin.

Fearing it may be an endangered species he took some photos and immediately released it back into the sea. Tracy Ehrenberg, Pisces General Manager, sent the images to biologists in Mexico, hoping for an identification “We emailed the images to the California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium, and were told that it’s an albino or leucistic swell shark, given its lack of pigmentation.”

La Paz-based shark expert Felipe Galván-Magaña also agreed that the shark caught was, most definitely, a Cephaloscyllium ventriosum. But he pointed out that it was a rather odd specimen due to having only 3 gill slits on each side of the head, and only three rows of very small teeth.

Swell sharks are found from southern Mexico to California, and tend to be timid around humans unless provoked. They expand with water or air when they feel threatened – which probably explains the bloated appearance of the shark when it was pulled aboard.

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