Epaulette sharks can walk and could teach us about climate change

The epaulette shark, discovered in Indonesia, uses its fins to

The epaulette shark relies on its unique characteristics to survive in its demanding Great Barrier Reef habitat. Chief among them: his ability to walk.

The shark, which can also survive out of water for several hours, is built to survive the harshest ocean conditions. That’s why researchers are now looking to the creature, one of the few species of walking sharks, as an indicator of what climate change could bring in decades to come.

A study that looked at how these sharks respond to future climate scenarios, such as rising temperatures, raises concerns about how other species – which may not be as well equipped for climate change – could get away with it.

“Understanding how these animals do it and how they do so well could teach us a lot about what is needed to be able to survive in the future climatic conditions we are expected to see,” Marianne Porter, a biology professor at Florida Atlantic University, who works in a team studying the early development of the epaulette shark, USA TODAY told.

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