In celebration of the “Shark Week”, a British diver is lucky enough to swim and take a short footage of the extraordinary #Megamouth Shark. The harmless sea creature was spotted feeding off the Komodo Island in #Indonesia.

Penny Bielich captured the gentle animal on camera while it swam near her. She’s diving Gili Lawa Laut, a well-known tourist diving spot on July 25 when she caught a glimpse of the megamouth.

First megamouth shark discovered

The first megamouth shark was discovered in Oahu, Hawaii in 1976. The rare species are mainly seen in the waters of Southeast Asia especially Japan, Philippines, and Taiwan. However, they have reported sightings in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

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Since the animal has a broad allocation, The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have not listed it as one of the endangered species or threatened to become extinct.

The Florida Museum of Natural History has recorded and confirmed more than 60 sightings for the past 41 years. According to IUCN, they keep records of the species population around the world with 102 specimens being observed. They have been tagged and were found out that this shark species is diurnal, alternating between shallow and deep depending on the time of day.

Megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) is thought to grow up to 17 feet long with snout-shaped heads. It has a mouth that widely stretches for filtering large amounts of plankton or krill. The fish has been characterized by having a soft, shapeless form and lacks the ability to swim gracefully.

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New addition to the family

Meanwhile, a new shark species has been discovered in the deep waters of Hawaii. A graduate student, Ph.D. Stephen M. Kajiura along with the team learned of the new species which glows in the dark. It is a small shark and different from what was discovered 17 years ago. The newly-discovered sea creature is less than a foot and weighs no more than 2 pounds with a snout that is big and bulges. The new shark was included in the Lanternshark family, (Squaliformes Etmopteridae), and was named Etmopterus lailae.

According to a study conducted by the University of Western Australia (UWA), sharks play a major role in the balance of the ocean biodiversity. The researchers traveled the ocean from Cairns to Broome in Australia to find out more about the shark-coral reefs' healthy relationship. The study suggests that coral reefs are in a good condition where sharks are abundant ranging in sizes from 17 cm to 12 meters.

Though sharks are the main predators in the food chain, they are also the most susceptible to vanish because of their fins being commercialized for medicine and exotic food. If this practice will not be stopped, shark population will drastically decline just like in some species which shrunk to 2-4 percent 50 years ago.