Pocket Shark Facts
- This rather surprising little creature bears the common name of Pocket Shark.
- We regret the necessity of using images of deceased creatures. We only do so because these remain among the only photos of the ocean dweller ever published, as of the writing of this article.
- This diminutive ocean creature also represents a species of kitefin shark.
- As a result of this recent discovery, this creature truly represents one of our ocean’s rarest finds. Hence, its IUCN status also quite understandably lists as Data Deficient.
- However, the evolutionary purpose of the unique physical feature for which the diminutive shark was named remains a mystery.
Pocket Shark Physical Description
Most notably, the Pocket Shark derives its name from the unique presence of a pouch of skin next to each of its front fins. Also, the pockets grow relatively large, covering roughly 4 percent of the body of the animal.
One specimen measured about 16 in (40 cm) in length, with the second one being roughly 5.5 in (14 cm) long. The theory is that the pouches may secrete either pheromones or glowing fluid, to aid in vision.
The overall body shape also remains principally cylindrical. The coloring of the only individuals ever seen was essentially pure black.
The mouth also contains a large number of small but razor-sharp teeth.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Chondrichthyes
- Order: Squaliformes
- Family: Dalatiidae
- Genus: Mollisquama
- Species: M. parini
Pocket Shark Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Only two individuals of the rather unusual Pocket Shark have ever been found. So, virtually nothing definitive is certain about the species, for the moment. What little we do know comes from the discovery and examination of these two individuals.
However, both specimens were living at depths of roughly 1,000 ft (300 m).
Consequently, we currently know nothing for certain about the diet, biology, or behavior patterns of the Pocket Shark.