Rare goblin shark wasn't the only thing that surfaced - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Rare goblin shark wasn't the only thing that surfaced

Posted: Updated:
(CNN) -- Photos of the gruesome-looking goblin shark a fisherman accidentally caught last month drew attention as scientists caught a rare glimpse of the deep sea creature.

But wait, there's more.

Now another marine species shown in the photographs has scientists talking.

Many deep sea isopods showed up in the pictures of what fisherman Carl Moore caught in his net, said Andrew Thaler, a marine biologist in California.

You've probably never seen one. "Imagine a pill bug the size of a house cat," Thaler said.

The creatures, which can grow up to 20 centimeters, are common in the deep sea, Thaler said, but spotting them is rare because they're usually very spread out.

"I've never seen that many in one place at the same time before," he said.

So why would there be so many gathered together?

Maybe it was dinner time.

"Food in the deep sea is very rare. That is one of the defining characteristics of the deep sea. There is no sunlight, so there are no plants for the most part," Thaler said.

So, when something large like a whale dies at sea, he said, scavengers swarm around it.

"They can go and gorge on a carcass and survive for months," he said. "They have to be able to store all this food in their body because they don't know when they will feed again."

That means the reason Moore caught the rare goblin shark could be because it and other deep sea creatures were feasting on something, Thaler said.

In the past, scientists have studied the ocean graveyards where whales die to better understand deep sea life.

The goblin shark Moore caught last month was only the second member of the species ever caught in the Gulf of Mexico, and the first since 2000, shark expert John Carlson said.

Moore, 63, of Townsend, Georgia, estimates the shark was 18 to 20 feet long. He caught it on April 19, about halfway through an 18-day fishing trip.

The shark was still alive, so Moore released it after snapping photos.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New meaning to "Labor Day" at the Zoo

    New meaning to "Labor Day" at the Zoo

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:50:30 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Staff at the Alexandria Zoo are hard at work on Labor Day.The zoo is always open on the holiday. But, a couple of the exhibits need some extra care.That's because they're celebrating a different kind of "Labor Day" - the birth of several new baby animals.More >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Staff at the Alexandria Zoo are hard at work on Labor Day.The zoo is always open on the holiday. But, a couple of the exhibits need some extra care.That's because they're celebrating a different kind of "Labor Day" - the birth of several new baby animals.More >>
  • U.S. carries out airstrikes against Isis in Northern Iraq

    U.S. carries out airstrikes against Isis in Northern Iraq

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:14:05 GMT
    WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) - The U.S. military says it has carried out two more airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq.More >>
    WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) - The U.S. military says it has carried out two more airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq.
    More >>
  • Invest 99-L (Tropical Blog 9-1)

    Developing Tropical Wave over the Southern Gulf of Mexico

    Developing Tropical Wave over the Southern Gulf of Mexico

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:53 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:53:56 GMT
    Monday, September 19:47amIn the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, there is One area that we are watching for possible development during the next 48 hours.Invest 99-L (Tropical Wave)A Tropical disturbance over the Yucatan Peninsula Eastern Bay of Campeche is producinga lot of shower thunderstorm and is associated with a Tropical Wave. This system continues to show limited development as it moves over the warm water of the Southern GoM. Environmental conditions are favorable for develo...More >>
    Monday, September 19:47amIn the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, there is One area that we are watching for possible development during the next 48 hours.Invest 99-L (Tropical Wave)A Tropical disturbance over the Yucatan Peninsula Eastern Bay of Campeche is producinga lot of shower thunderstorm and is associated with a Tropical Wave. This system continues to show limited development as it moves over the warm water of the Southern GoM. Environmental conditions are favorable for develo...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.