Hybrid super-shark means Syfy's Sharktopus is almost a reality

Contributed by
Dec 16, 2012

Global warming is responsible for the melting of polar ice, coral reef die-off and an increase of extreme storms ... and a pissed-off Mother Nature has exacted revenge by creating a new breed of super-shark.

This new shark, a cross between the Australian black-tip and the common black-tip, is a marvel to scientists.

According to the Mail & Guardian, lead research Jess Morgan said:

"It's very surprising because no one's ever seen shark hybrids before, this is not a common occurrence by any stretch of the imagination," Morgan, from the University of Queensland, told AFP.

"This is evolution in action."

Although this new shark looks like the Australian black-tip, it has the genes of the common black-tip. It's also been found in cooler waters, 2,000 kilometers farther south, where the Australian black-tip does not range. (Read this Skeptical Science article for a look at why our weather patterns are changing—that is, why warm-water sharks would need to adapt to cooler temperatures.)

Colin Simpfendorfer, a colleague of Morgan from James Cook University, said, "[T]his may be happening in more species than these two."

Okay, we understand that this new breed is different from Sharktopus for two important reasons:

1) This isn't a case of inter-genus breeding (shark and octopus) but of inter-species (shark and shark).

2) Sharktopus was bred by scientists, while these far-ranging, adaptive sharks did so spontaneously.

That above sentence does not make us feel any better. In fact, it just makes the imagination run riot. We're sci-fi geeks. We know where this trend inevitably leads. It leads back to this ...

(via Mail&Guardian)