World-first hybrid shark found off Australia

SYDNEY: Australian scientists hailed what they described as a world-first discovery of two shark species interbreeding Tuesday, a never-before-seen phenomenon which could help them cope with warmer oceans.

Lead researcher Jess Morgan said the mating of the local Australian black-tip shark with its global counterpart, the common black-tip, was an unprecedented discovery with implications for the entire shark world.

“It’s very surprising because no one’s ever seen shark hybrids before, this is not a common occurrence by any stretch of the imagination,” Morgan, from the University of Queensland, told.

“This is evolution in action.”

The discovery was made during cataloguing work off Australia’s east coast when Morgan said genetic findings showed certain sharks to be one species when physically they looked to be another.