Shark Lab

First meeting of the semester

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Today Paul started meeting with UROC (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Center) students and interns again.  They’ll meet every Saturday to sort, measure and describe specimens from the Pacific Shark Research Center, including some deep-sea sharks that Paul collected from the Southern Indian Ocean spring 2012.

Today was a hefty day for interns; PSRC has a lot of specimens to study! After a preliminary briefing on semester goals, projects and expectations, Paul and the interns got to work sorting specimens, measuring halotypes and parotypes of new species. and skeletonizing sample vertibrae, jaws and crania of other sharks, skates and rays.

Jimmy and Edward searched for contending specimens to use in a new method of clear staining. Jimmy also showed some other interns how to skeletonize sharks. The new method of staining and clearing sharks will provide scientists with a better look at the three-dimensional design of specimens without cutting them open. Jimmy and the other interns froze the specimens for further use.

Matt Lawson and newcomer Claire sorted through PSRC bins looking for Paul’s chimera specimen to take morphometrics and compare it to other chimera specimens for Lawson’s review of Taiwanese chimera species. While sorting, Lawson and Claire found preserved baby six gill, skate and ray specimens. They then studied the specifics of the specimens with Paul, who is doing his thesis work on the specimens.

Paul, Matt Jew and Kristin ran morphometrics on the new hydrolagous specimens from the SIO while Paul cross-referenced the details with his descriptions of the species in a paper.These specimens are different from other chimeras. In fact, they are new species! Notice the blue-ish wash over the fins and blunted nose.


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