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Pocket shark

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Title: Pocket shark  
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Subject: Squaliformes, Mandarin dogfish, Smalleye pygmy shark, Largetooth cookiecutter shark, Spined pygmy shark
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Pocket shark

Pocket shark
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Squaliformes
Family: Dalatiidae
Genus: Mollisquama
Dolganov, 1984
Species: M. parini
Binomial name
Mollisquama parini
Dolganov, 1984
Range of pocket shark (in blue)

The pocket shark (Mollisquama parini) is a kitefin shark of the family Dalatiidae, the only member of the genus Mollisquama, found in deep water off Chile in the southeast Pacific Ocean and recently in the Gulf of Mexico. It is distinguished from other sharks by two pockets next to its front fins; their purpose is not known. The pockets are large, measuring about four percent of the shark's body length. Some researchers hypothesize that they may secrete some kind of glowing fluid or pheremones.[1]

The pocket shark is a very poorly known deepwater shark recorded from the Nazca Submarine Ridge off northern Chile. The first known specimen was an adolescent female (40 cm total length (TL)), taken at a depth of 330 m, in 1979. Nothing is known of its biology or threats in the area.

In February of 2010, a 14 cm (5.5 in) specimen was caught 305 km (190 mi) off the coast of Louisiana, in the Gulf of Mexico.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Jaws meets kangaroo? Rare, cute pocket shark found in deep". Fox News. April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 

Further reading

  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Mollisquama parini in FishBase. May 2006 version.

External links

  • The IUCN listing of Threatened Species entry for mollisquama parini
  • NOAA and Tulane researchers identify second possible specimen ever found

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