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Cyclops Shark Found

A Gulf of California fisherman brings home a baby dusky shark with only one eye.

By | October 19, 2011

A dusky shark fetus with only one eyeCOURTESY OF MARCELA BEJARANO

It’s a shark with one eye—what could be weirder? It’s not an ancient one-eyed species, however, but an animal suffering from a rare congenital condition known as cyclopia, which has been documented in a variety of species, including humans. Measuring in at 56 centimeters (22 inches) in length, the organism is actually a fetus, extracted from the womb of a pregnant dusky shark, caught by fisherman Enrique Lucero León near Cerralvo Island in the Gulf of California. Also inside the mother shark were nine normal siblings.

Upon hearing about the discovery on Facebook, biologist Felipe Galván-Magaña of the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences in Mexico and his colleagues asked León for permission to examine the specimen and confirmed its diagnosis as cyclopia. A handful of other cylcops sharks have been documented, shark biologist Jim Gelsleichter of the University of North Florida told National Geographic, but always as embryos, suggesting that fish suffering from the condition don't live long. "It's a humbling experience to realize you ain't seen it all yet."

See the full slideshow.[gallery]

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Comments

Avatar of: GordonBlows

GordonBlows

Posts: 2

October 21, 2011

It sure would have been smart for the photographer to take a closeup of one of the normal fetal shark's eyes for comparison because that one eye just doesn't look right.  But I'm no shark expert and without a normal case to compare it with I could easily be wrong.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

October 21, 2011

It sure would have been smart for the photographer to take a closeup of one of the normal fetal shark's eyes for comparison because that one eye just doesn't look right.  But I'm no shark expert and without a normal case to compare it with I could easily be wrong.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

October 21, 2011

It sure would have been smart for the photographer to take a closeup of one of the normal fetal shark's eyes for comparison because that one eye just doesn't look right.  But I'm no shark expert and without a normal case to compare it with I could easily be wrong.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

October 24, 2011

Um, why is it that the shape of the head of this one rare speciman keeps changing between the photos, and why does it appear to be made of clay?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

October 24, 2011

Um, why is it that the shape of the head of this one rare speciman keeps changing between the photos, and why does it appear to be made of clay?

Avatar of: Michael Holloway

Michael Holloway

Posts: 36

October 24, 2011

Um, why is it that the shape of the head of this one rare speciman keeps changing between the photos, and why does it appear to be made of clay?

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