Marine biologists say they have discovered the world’s first hybrid sharks off Australia’s east coast, a potential sign the predators are adapting to cope with climate change.
They say the mating of the Australian black-tip shark with its global counterpart, the common black-tip, is an unprecedented discovery with implications for the entire shark world.
“It was unprecedented because hybridisation between sharks in the wild has never been reported before in Australia or worldwide,” said Dr Jennifer Ovenden from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.
The scientists were examining fish stocks when they found 57 of the hybrid sharks in a 2,000-kilometre stretch of coast. They are a cross between two related but genetically different species.