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Researchers have identified a new species of pocket shark from the Gulf of Mexico, which uses it’s pouches to squirt a fluorescent fluid to conceal it from prey or predators.

The tiny shark found almost 10 years ago has turned out to be a new species, and we don’t know what to think of it. Is it cute, is it terrifying?

The American pocket shark is named after the pouches it has near it’s front fins rather than it’s diminutive size, and was collected during a survey to find out what sperm whales eat nearly a decade ago.

The five-and-a-half inch male shark has five features which aren’t found on any other known specimen of this king

pocket shark
Image: Tulane researcher Michael Doosey

The mysterious pouches squirt little glowing clouds into the ocean, according to scientists studying the creature.

The details of the latest species are described in the journal Zootaxa by Mark Grace of the NMFS Mississippi Laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Henry Bart and Michael Doosey of the Tulane University Biodiversity Research.

On the discovery, Grace said: “I’ve been in science about 40 years and I can usually make a pretty good guess about a marine animal’s identity. I couldn’t with this one.”

Grace then turned to experts at Tulane University and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.

Tulane researcher Michael Doosey/Mark Grace at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration

A 2015 paper identified the shark as only the second of it’s kind, but it took four more years of analysing the creature to make sure that it was a brand new species.

“The fact that only one pocket shark has ever been reported from the Gulf of Mexico, and that it is a new species, underscores how little we know about the Gulf – especially its deeper waters – and how many additional new species from these waters await discovery,” Henry Bart said.

Identifying the shark involved examining and photographing external features with a dissecting microscope, studying x-ray images and high resolution CT scans.

Somehow we don’t think it’ll be this cute, despite the name:

great white shark GIF

Feature image:  Tulane researcher Michael Doosey

You can keep on exploring about sharks and find many other animal facts on FactRetriever 

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Drought weather conditions have unrevealed some RAD archaeological finds at Newgrange within the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. 

Today marks the shortest day of the year, which sent a stream of sunlight into the megalithic chamber at the site.

To celebrate the winter solstice, the interim report was released which gave extra details into the discoveries at Newgrange. 

National Monuments Service

Early this year, in July, stunning patterns were uncovered on the floodplain beside the ​​​Newgrange passage tomb.

The discovery is believed to give a rare look into prehistoric rituals and architecture.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said the findings “reinforces the remarkable level of ceremonial and ritual use of the landscape around Newgrange during the prehistoric period”.

The discoveries are detailed as "immense enclosures of timber uprights and large ceremonial henges have been identified on the floodplain in the shadow of Newgrange passage tomb."

"These monuments, visible only fleetingly as cropmarks during the dry summer, clearly form a deliberately structured and ritual landscape of great significance."

National Monuments Service

It is understood that the wooden structures were built around three hundreds years after the passage tombs.

Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said: “These remarkable archaeological discoveries are a significant reinforcement of the Unesco World Heritage inscription and will transform our understanding of Brú na Bóinne."

"These discoveries will inspire much interest and will attract further research and interpretation. My department looks forward to working with the landowners and academic institutes and researchers in the years ahead on ensuring the secrets these sites still hold are revealed," she added. 

It's truly remarkable, but this site is currently not available to the public as it's on private property.

Feature Image credit: National Monuments Service

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Yes, they are believed to be mythical creatures, but now scientists think that unicorns were real thousands of years ago – except they weren't the pretty white pearly things were thought they were.

A study published by the American Journal of Applied Sciences claims that newly discovered fossils found in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan are that of unicorns – or Elasmotherium sibiricum – which travelled the world around 29,000 years ago.

According to the paper, the unicorns looked more like rhinos than horses and stood about six feet tall, were 15 feet long and weighed around 8,000 pounds.

Unfortunately, no magical flying abilities were found but you never know, Science might definitely will improve in the future. 

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Research has been published in The American Journal of Psychiatry that claims to have found how a specific gene reacts to stress, and apparently, this could predict whether or not a person is at risk of suicide.

Dr. Zachary Kaminsky took blood samples from living people, and found an increase in the chemical that sets off this gene in those, who had reported suicidal thoughts.

Dr. Kaminsky said that this discovery could help a lot of people: “If we can identify who is at risk, we may be able to intervene in effective ways. Notably, we could identify individuals in military populations who are more vulnerable to stress. We know they’re going to be experiencing stress when they go off to combat.”

These advances in science can’t come quick enough, Ireland had the second highest rate of suicide across Europe last year.

If you’re feeling down, remember there’s always someone to talk to

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