This handsome little specimen is a Campeche catshark, Parmaturus campechiensis. It is one of the millions of scientific specimens in the Smithsonian Institution's collection and was photographed and emailed to me by Sandra J. Raredon.
The first products of my project with the Smithsonian Ocean Portal are going to be rolled out in the next couple of weeks, and this little guy (he's only about 6 inches long) is going to be used in a Google Ocean post in the Gulf of Mexico. There are two species of shark that are endemic to the Gulf of Mexico, meaning that they live in the Gulf and nowhere else on the planet. One of the endemic sharks is the Gulf of Mexico Gulfhound Smoothhound; the other is this Campeche catshark.
I looked and looked and looked, and the only Campeche catshark image I was able to find was a sketch done by the FAO. Luckily the Smithsonian had this guy sitting in a jar in Pod Five and Sandra was willing to photograph it for me. I think this may be the only photograph of a Campeche catshark on the Internet. How awesome is that?
Stay tuned for more.