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A Walking Shark


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BANGKOK: Scientists searching the ocean off the north-western coast of Indonesia's Papua province say they have discovered dozens of new species, including a shark that walks on its fins.

The team from Conservation International warned that the area - known as Bird's Head Seascape - was in danger from fishermen who use dynamite and cyanide to net their catches and called on the Indonesian Government to do more to protect it.

"It's one of the most stunningly beautiful landscapes and seascapes on the planet," said Mark Erdmann, a senior adviser to Conservation International who led two surveys to the area this year.

Dr Erdmann, an American, and his team claim to have discovered 52 new species, including 24 new types of fish, 20 kinds of coral and eight species of shrimp.

Among the highlights were an epaulette shark that walks on its fins, a praying mantis-like shrimp and scores of reef-building corals, he said. Conservation International said papers on two of the new fish species, called flasher wrasse because of the bright colours the male exhibits during mating, have been accepted for publication in Aqua Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology.

Carden Wallace, a coral expert at the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville, said she was not surprised by the findings "mostly because it is a remote location and hasn't been visited by scientists very much".

"This will give us a better understanding of where all this diversity originates from and how vulnerable it may be," she said.

Dubbed the Coral Triangle, it is home to 1200 species of fish and 600 species of coral.post-1685-1158631735_thumb.jpg

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Thanks a lot for that, Pete. :thumbup: You're right - that srticle was right up my ally! :thumbup::yahoo: Ahh... the amazing world we live in...


Hmmm..we've got flying fish, swimming fish, jumping fish.. now walking fish....

If sharks learn how to drive boats...I'm handing my boat licence in!!!!! :tease:


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Here are the pics of the other species in that story:



Thanks Pete. A couple of those actually aren't new species, the Pseudochromis for example. Nice pics, though and a great insight into the marine world. :thumbup: I have to say that the Epaulette shark that walks on its pectoral fins takes the cake, though.


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