Image: Gummy Shark with mutant colouration
Fish Collection Manager, Mark McGrouther displays a unusually coloured mutant gummy shark (Mustelus antarcticus - AMS I.38766-001) at the Australian Museum, 23 April 1998.
- Torsten Blackwood
- © ImageForum Torsten Blackwood - AFP
The fish was caught by a commercial fisherman at a depth of 38 m, off Montague Island, southern New South Wales. Scientists are mystified at the discovery of the bizarrely patterned shark, which has never been seen before.
The dark-blotched pattern is an extremely rare colour form that is found in several different families of sharks, according to Dr. John Stevens, CSIRO, Hobart. Gummy sharks are normally grey above and silvery-white below. The specimen caused significant media interest, with photographers and reporters from several different sources documenting the story.