A shark researcher has discovered a new species that's found in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama and glows in the dark.
Vicky Vasquez, who works at the Pacific Shark Research Center in Moss Landing, California, let her younger cousins name it: Ninja Lanternshark.
The animal's official title is Etmopterus benchleyi, a name Vasquez told BuzzFeed News is meant to honor Peter Benchley, who authored the novel Jaws and co-wrote the film adaptation with Stephen Spielberg.
But for the colloquial monicker, Vasquez recruited her first and second cousins, who are between 8 and 14 years old.
"They love animals and two of the girls have become especially obsessed with sharks," Vasquez told BuzzFeed News in an email. "This interest was all on their own."
According to Canadian science publication Hakai Magazine, Ninja Lanternshark measures about one-half meter (or a one and a half feet) long, and has black skin and "bulbous eyes."
Vasquez explained to her cousins that the cells in the shark's skin allow it to release a soft glow in the depths of the ocean. This characteristic allows it to blend into the limited amount of light down there, and sneak up on its prey without being noticed.
You know, like a ninja.
Tamerra Griffin is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based Nairobi, Kenya.
Contact Tamerra Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.