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Mysterious animal discovered off vacation island – photo of sea creatures causes a stir

A mysterious animal was fished out of the water off the holiday island of Elba in Italy. A photo on Facebook causes a stir.

Elba – what is that? Hardly anyone knows this sea creature. Or: knew. Because off the Italian island of Elba a rare animal has been pulled out of the water. It calls itself “Oxynotus Centrina”, better known as the spotted sea sow. Never heard of the animal? The sea sow is a type of shark belonging to the pig shark genus, a truly rare find.

The animal was discovered on August 19th, but now the news is spreading very quickly. The reason: The Isola d’Elba App Facebook page shared a photo of the mysterious sea creature on September 3rd. Accordingly, the fish was recovered dead from the waters of Elba.

Die Gefleckte Meersau (Oxynotus centrina) lebt hauptsächlich im Ostatlantik und im Schwarzen Meer.


Rare find: The spotted sea sow (Oxynotus centrina) lives mainly in the eastern Atlantic and the Black Sea.

Italy: Rare shark discovered off the island of Elba

After naval workers found the spotted sea sow, the carcass was handed over to the port authorities. There the find was carefully examined. The sea sow is also known as the “grunting shark”. However, this name does not – as one might initially assume – the appearance of the animals, but rather the noises they make. It is supposed to be reminiscent of the grunt of pigs.

In English, the spotted sea sow is also nicknamed “roughshark” because this type of shark has very rough skin. This species is found mainly in the eastern Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The Meersau was also discovered in the northern North Sea. Usually the animal lives at depths between 100 and 700 meters. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the spotted marine sow is threatened with extinction.

The menu of the unusual sea creatures includes above all poly-bristle and syringe worms, more rarely bony fish, crustaceans and echinoderms. The shark is harmless to humans.

Italy: Spotted sea sow found dead – Photo from Elba island causes a stir

The photo has now been shared over 600 times on Facebook, and over 500 comments are gathered under the post. Not every Facebook user is happy with the picture. One user asks in horror: “Was it really necessary to fish it and then publish it?” The operators of the Facebook page emphasize, however, that the sea sow was already dead. They just wanted to share this “special photo”. Because one thing is clear: The spotted Meersau is currently achieving a significantly higher level of awareness.

Just a few months ago, a humpback whale allegedly swallowed a US fisherman. The story went viral. (nc)

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