For conservationists, numbers matter. How many square miles of a species’ environment remains intact? How many are out in the wild? How long will a repopulation effort take?
But beyond the numbers, they also care about capturing what it is that makes a species unique and important for preservation.
Documenting a creature’s beauty, discovering its intelligence, and becoming familiar with another species is immensely rewarding, even when racing against the clock.
That’s what makes the recent sighting of a juvenile angel shark in Welsh waters so amazing. Diver and marine biologist Jake Davies, who works as the coordinator for Angel Shark Project: Wales, shared stunning footage of the find on his social media and discussed what it meant for the team.
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“It was incredible to spend more time underwater with the Critically Endangered species,” wrote Davies, adding he felt fortunate to capture the creature “gracefully swimming across the sand, burying and the moment of using its amazing jaws to ambush a[n] unsuspecting goby.” The footage is also inspiring “as it provides evidence of a breeding population” in the area.
Joanna Barker, co-founder of the Angel Shark Project and senior project manager at the Zoological Society of London, added in an email to Gizmodo: “This is a really good sign that the population of critically endangered Angelsharks using this area are actively breeding.”
Footage of Davies’ discovery (seen below) documents the amazing way that Angel Sharks use their flat bodies (similar to manta rays) to hide on the ocean floor, waiting for unsuspecting prey to wander near them before devouring them with incredible reflexes and speed.
Watch more of Davies’ dive in the footage below, or learn more about the network of organizations working to save the Angel Shark here!Whizzco