Australia's hybrid shark reveals evolution in action
Hybrid sharks have been discovered swimming in the waters off Australia's east coast. The finding may be driven by climate change, a research team says, suggesting such discoveries could be more common in the future.
The hybridization is between the Australian black tip shark which favors tropical waters and the larger, common black tip shark, which favors sub-tropical and temperate waters.
While the distribution for the genetically distinct species overlaps along the northern and eastern Australian coastline, the finding that they mated and produced offspring is unprecedented, according to the discovery team from the University of Queensland.
"To actually find something like this and prove it genetically is unprecedented," Bob Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, told me Tuesday.