START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
2,579,328 people care about Environment & Wildlife

First Hybrid Sharks Found off Australia

First Hybrid Sharks Found off Australia

A surprise finding off the coast of Australia came when marine scientists found several generations of naturally occurring hybrid sharks.  Hybrids happening in nature are well documented, but never before in sharks.  The cause is hypothesized as global warming.

“This is evolution in action,” said University of Queensland lead researcher Jess Morgan.  The two breeds that hybridized are the Australian Blacktip shark (Carcharhinus tilstoni) and the common Blacktip (Carcharhinus limbatus); they are related but genetically distinct.

The hybrids were observed at five different locations throughout 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) of eastern Australia coastline.

The Australian blacktip favors tropical waters in the north white the common blacktip is found in the sub-tropical waters of south-eastern Australia. “Hybridization could enable the sharks to adapt to environmental change,” said University of Queensland researcher Jennifer Ovenden.

Identification of the hybrids was determined through DNA studies.  Scientists report the 57 individual hybrid sharks discovered are healthy and robust and span several generations.  This is a significant finding because it shows the first generation hybrids went on to reproduce.

Hybrids occur more commonly in fish because their eggs are fertilized in the water.  But sharks mate through internal fertilization, like mammals.

Related Stories:

Are Sharks Misunderstood?

Victory: Australian Sharks Safe From Cull

Welcome to the World’s Largest Shark Sanctuary


Read more: , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
6:22AM PDT on Apr 13, 2014

Hybrids & Genetic Modification, 'mans' Corruption of Life!

Romans 8

¶ 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of YHWH.

2:02AM PDT on Aug 3, 2012


12:41PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

Wow- fascinating article!

8:09AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Thanks. It's interesting to see evolution happening before our eyes.

5:15AM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Note: it is *hypothesized* as global warming. A hypothesis still requires proof.
What are the odds these hybrids might also be the result of over-fishing, resulting in fewer sharks thus making it more likely that unlike species would mate?

7:52PM PST on Jan 25, 2012


12:48AM PST on Jan 23, 2012

Good ole Global warming does it again.

10:04AM PST on Jan 22, 2012

interesting article, thanks for sharing :)

12:21PM PST on Jan 17, 2012

animals are so truly amazing. But it's sad that they are having to change because of the irresponsibility if humans :/

7:48AM PST on Jan 17, 2012


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

Michael K. wrote: "This POTUS has taken more vacations than any other POTUS on record." OK, Michael,…

"Climate change, though, is compounding the problem by contributing to rising sea levels and much harsher…

Jacob J.-Maybe your family never mistreated or killed any of the greyhounds you bred and raced, but that…

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK


Civil Rights


Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights


Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.