For decades, marine biologists and other scientists have plumbed the ocean’s depths for clues about just how humanity got here. As some of the most ancient creatures on earth, sharks and their DNA are often the targets of these studies.
One of these sharks just might be holding the key, and it also happens to be just about the goofiest looking thing in the entire ocean. Just try not to laugh when you see it.
If you’re ever swimming on the coast of Australia or New Zealand, you might get a chance to meet this guy.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you…the ghost shark.
Also known as the elephant shark, it uses its floppy trunk-like nose to fish tiny creatures out of the sand.
The ghost shark.
The end of their snout has pores that can sense movement and electrical fields, making it easy for them to find almost anything.
Also, just like people, ghost sharks can see in color. Unlike people, however, they have a poisonous spine on their dorsal fin.
They are a direct descendant of the most ancient jawed vertebrates, meaning that if we study their genome, we can learn more about the origins of ALL vertebrates, including ourselves.
And if you thought the shark looks weird, check out their egg sack…
It’s like something straight out of Star Trek.
It never fails to amaze me just how many lessons the ocean and the creatures living in it have to teach us. I would never in a million years have thought that a shark who looked like THAT could hold any secrets to human evolution. The world is so weird.