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They are archetypal, typical looking sharks like a great reef or bull shark. They sort of look like that but they have tiny little eyes and big broad fins, these are adaption for living in very turbid water. If you have a look where these things live, the visibility is about an inch. It’s completely muddy water.
Many people have never seen these animals, they have got this apocryphal mysterious kind reputation. They were believed – at least one species, the Ganges River shark – was believed to bite bathers in the Ganges River. But nobody ever saw them. It was a wonderful, frightening thing that some sort of monster grabs you but nobody knows what it is.
They found that the jaws and fins of a large, G. glyphis were brought for sale by a local fishermen. He also had different fins of what looked to be the northern river shark Glyphis garricki, will had the good sense to get some tissue samples to see if it was the same as the ones we had from Northern Australia. We sequenced them and indeed they were.
If you have got lots of different species and each species is supposed to occur in a distinctly different habitat, then you have to be very careful about preserving each of those species, if you find out that, in fact, it’s one species that is distributed over a wider area, then there is not quite so much pressure to conserve every single one of those different species because they are all the same thing. It also tells us this very same species is adaptable to living in different environments. It can live in Pakistan. It can live in Borneo and it can live in Myanmar.
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