North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Life on the Edge: Exploring Deep Ocean Habitats - NC Museum of Natural Sciences Website
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08/18/03

Dylan asked if we had seen any sharks or whales so far on our journey.

Yes, on two separate submersible dives, scientists saw two types of shark: a spiny dogfish, in the Squalidae family, and a Scyliorhinus retifer, or chain dogfish, respectively. The spiny dogfish is the most abundant shark species in the world, and has been heavily fished in many regions for more than a century. As its name implies, the chain dogfish has a distinctive chainlike pattern on a pale brown background, reminiscent of a copperhead snake's pattern. This particular one was approximately 1 meter in length, and was seen at a depth of 2085 feet. The chain dogfish's habitat range stretches from southern New England to Nicaragua, though it is absent from the Bahamas and Antilles.

We haven't seen any whales, but we have collected some pretty cool specimens, such as trumpet fish, angler fish, nudibranchs, and squid! The diversity of species so early in our mission is quite astounding. Thanks for your question!

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