A walking shark is part of a new shark species recently found off of a distant Indonesian coast, and this shark is sometimes said to “waltz” across the seafloor using its fins as feet. Although these unique types of shark are often seen simply swimming close to the bottom of the seabed, a new video captured by the Indonesian Institute of Science confirms that they can indeed “walk” across the sand for a short time, the CS Monitor reports this Friday, Aug. 30.
A walking shark doesn’t commonly need to walk to make its way in the water, though this recently discovered species is known to use a unique combination of their dorsal and pectoral fins that give them a “walk-like” movement near the seafloor. Yet a shark researcher who is observing these animals noticed in a recent video that an actual “waltz” has been recorded, showing the animal clearly brushing across the seafloor while moving about.
This shark species can grow to well over 2 feet long, but it poses no threat to us human beings off the Indonesian coast, said one marine biologist. The animal’s scientific name is known as Hemiscyllium Halmahera, and is in fact named after the Indonesian island called Halmahera, as this was the location that it was found. These walking sharks are in a related genus often dubbed as epaulette sharks, given their numerous spot markings that tend to look like military epaulettes, added the Conservation International in the press release.
Six of these nine (in total) walking shark species all come from Indonesia, and this latest species has quite a few biologists and experts in the area looking forward to studying the unique “waltz”, or gait, of these animals, and how they can in fact use their fins to temporarily skirt across the seafloor.
What’s your input on this walking shark? Are you shark fans out there excited about this new type of sea-faring species?