PHOTOS: 100+ New Sharks, Rays Named in Australia

PHOTOS: 100+ New Sharks, Rays Named in Australia
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September 19, 2008--The newly named maugean skate may go extinct before scientists have a chance to fully document it.

The skate--a type of ray--is among 113 new species of Australian sharks and rays discovered during a study of museum specimens, scientists at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO) announced this week. (Read full story.)

(See a giant freshwater ray caught near a Thai city.)

The 18-month-long project used modern DNA techniques on creatures that had previously been only casually named. Many still lack an official moniker.

A living relic, the maugean skate has roamed the waters near southwestern Tasmania--an Australian island state--for hundreds of millions of years.

Yet overfishing and a tiny habitat of just three estuaries has already given it endangered status on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.
—Photograph courtesy CSIRO
 
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