NEWS: Hybrid Shark

Given that I’m all out of D&D stuff to write about until we game again next week (silly DM and his silly need for a break) I’ve scoured recent news articles that I care about. What I ended up finding was an article from Discovery News on 3 January 2012 by Amy Coopes.

Shark Hybrids have never been observed in the wild (and as most shark species don’t reproduce well in captivity even now, during the hybridization craze of the 50’s they were not victimized like Lions, Tigers, Jaguars and a pile of other species). Until now. A wild-bred example was discovered by Jess Morgan, who declared it to be “evolution in action”.

This shark was derived from the mating of an Australian Black-tip shark with the more common global Black-tip species. Morgan’s assertion that this is evolution happening has to do with the fact that it shows sharks adapting and changing to suit the changing conditions of the oceans. In addition to the individual announced, the researchers from James Cook University have revealed that the hybrid is robust and as many as 57 specimens might actually be hybrids.

This hybridization, that study seems to indicate is becoming more common, expands the range of the smaller tropical Australian Black-tip 2000 miles down the coast into colder seas. Some guesses currently place the newly discovered hybrid at 20% of the population. This suggests that the hybrid may outperform the Australian Black-tip parent-species.

Now we get to the part where I start to comment. I love discoveries like this, that change the perception of something science used to regard as fact. Shark species don’t interbreed. Take that, science. I love to see it expand and change. Definitions of life itself have already changed in my lifetime, and I seriously look forward to the next time animal life alters human perceptions of itself. Animals don’t care what we think about things, they’ll do what has to be done to survive.

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