Two Glyphis Freshwater Shark Species Rediscovered In Papua New Guinea

The speartooth and New Guinea River sharks are poorly understood, critically endangered species.

Speartooth Shark (Glyphis glyphis). Via Bill Harrison /Wikipedia

Two freshwater sharks that have not been seen in Papua New Guinea for the last 50 years have been rediscovered in a fish market in the island nation. The Speartooth sharks (Glyphis glyphis) and New Guinea River sharks (Glyphis garricki) have not been seen in the island nation since the 1970s, and are two of the most rarely seen and poorly understood sharks in the world. They are also listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.

Glyphis sharks are capable of living in freshwater.

The sharks, of the Glyphis genus have very small eyes and inhabit rivers and coastal ocean habitats in the Indo-Pacific, including Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan. The two Glyphis garricki specimens found in the coastal marine waters of the Daru region of Papua New Guinea were small, measuring just 113 cm (just under 4 feet) in total length. The three G. glyphis  sharks were mature with the largest shark measuring 260 cm (around 8.5 feet) total length.

These sharks like others in the genus are threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction, coastal development, and pollution.

The complete paper describing the two shark species can be read on the PLOS One website.

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Article Categories:
Fish · Freshwater Fish