Did you ever like an animal so much, that you wanted to name it? Like if you could call a kangaroo a Deeranosaurus Rex, or a monkey a tiny hairy human. Ok, I’m not very good with naming, but that’s not the point. Spending over a year analyzing a specimen, a Researcher Let Young Cousins Name the Ninja Lanternshark.
Super Ninja Shark vs. Ninja Lanternshark
After finding a shark off the coast of Central America, Vicky Vásquez, whose name totally sounds like a comic book name, discovered that she had found a new species.
So, as most people tend to do when discovering a new species, she had to come up with a name for it.
Cue the brainstorming team comprised of four of Vicky’s cousins, the youngest aged 8, and the oldest 14.
All of them growing up being passionate about animals, especially sharks, the researcher couldn’t help stirring their interest even further, and letting them name the newly found animal.
Using Google Hangouts, the family spent an unspecified amount of time coming up with the best name for the shark. Eventually, the kids settled for the ‘Super Ninja Shark’.
Knowing the usual procedures for naming a new species, miss Vasquez suggested that the kids tone it down a bit, so that the name actually becomes used worldwide.
And this is how the Ninja Lanternshark was named.
The actual animal
The stealthy predator might have a conflicting name, as a ninja can’t really be stealthy if he’s carrying a lantern, but the shark does make it work somehow.
The animal is completely black, and with its mouth open it looks like it’s wearing a ninja mask. It usually lives in the depths of the ocean, and it uses its faint glow (yes, it glows!) to hide in the dim sunlight that penetrates the water’s surface.
Etmopterus benchleyi, which is the shark’s scientific name, is in honor of Peter Benchley, the author of Jaws.
The man felt bad for giving sharks a bad name, and for the large number of animals killed by paranoid and vengeful fans after the movie’s release, so he dedicated his life to raise awareness about sharks.
The Benchley Awards, held by the Blue Frontier Campaign every year, are also named in his honor, but as Vásquez says, compared to the number of people who know him for Jaws, the people knowing about the awards are way too few.
The researcher also claims that she will soon upload a video of the naming session.
Image source: DeviantArt