Meet the 5-inch “Pocket Shark”

posted: 04/24/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Pocket Shark Examination
Michael Doosey, Tulane University

For only the second time in history, scientists have located the elusive "pocket shark", named for the distinctive pocket located behind its pectoral fin (although the shark could fit in your pocket!). The specimen was located 190 miles off the shore of Louisiana during a 2010 expedition to study sperm whales.

"The pocket shark we found was only 5 and a half inches long, and was a recently born male," said NOAA's Mark Grace. "Discovering him has us thinking about where mom and dad may be, and how they got to the Gulf. The only other known specimen was found very far away, off Peru, 36 years ago."

Pocket shark diagram

Very little is known about the miniature creature; using tissue samples, scientists determined that the pocket shark is closely related to kitefin and cookiecutter sharks. It is believed that the shark feeds on marine mammals, squid and fishes.

Click here for more information from NOAA


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