Hybrid Sharks in Australia

Ashley Danello

There are people all over the world that are shark fanatics. Thousands of people each year look forward to Shark Week and what the experts have to show. Well, to all you shark junkies out there, you might find this quite interesting. Recently, scientists have discovered a wild hybrid shark off the coast of Australia.

The discovery of such animal has raised the thought of other “tropical” sharks as far south as Sydney. Fifty-seven of the marine animals were found between1,243-miles northern New South Wales and far north Queensland.

Scientists say interbreeding between two shark species is a sign the animals are adapting to climate change and they also warn that hybridization could make the sharks stronger.

Many of you might have heard of the film, Deep Blue Sea, where scientists are searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. While conducting a series of experiments on sharks, they eventually become trapped in their under-water facility by three hybrid sharks. Luckily for us, that was just in the movies.

The hybrids are a simple combo of the Australian black tip and the common black tip sharks. The hybridization could allow the sharks to adapt to environmental change as the smaller Australian blacktip currently favors tropical waters in the north, while the larger common blacktip is more comfortable in sub-tropical and temperate waters along the south-eastern Australian coastline.

Scientists have also noted that hybridization is more common in plants and other fish because they don’t physically mate, like sharks do. Which is a good way for not only the sharks, but us to know if they are inter-mating.