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Scientists in New Zealand have discovered a "quite rare and exciting find": a baby ghost shark.

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  • Tip Bones

Sydney: While the word "baby shark" is usually heard in a children's song, it has delighted New Zealand scientists following the rare finding of a juvenile ghost shark during a study off the east coast of the country's South Island.

Ghost sharks, also known as chimaeras, are not true sharks, although they are related to sharks since their skeletons are made of cartilage rather than bone.

Little is known about these water creatures since they often live at depths of up to 6,000 feet (1,829 meters), making them inaccessible to researchers.

"What we do know comes from large adults, which are usually a meter, a meter and a half in length, so finding one that kind of just sits in the palm of my hand is incredibly rare," Brit Finucci, a scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, told Reuters on Thursday.

Finucci stated that the newly hatched ghost shark was retrieved at a depth of 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles). The young ghost shark was photographed with black fins connected to a body of translucent skin, a wispy white tail, and black eyes.

Ghost shark embryos develop in egg capsules laid on the seafloor, eating on yolk until they hatch.

According to her, the "extremely uncommon and fascinating find" will provide some insight into the species. "It fills in some of the small gaps here and there."