It’s not quite the “Land Shark” of Saturday Night Live skits, but a new species of “walking” shark discovered in a reef off a remote Indonesian island is still entertaining in its way.
These sharks don’t always rely on “walking” to move about — often, they only appear to touch the seafloor as they swim using their pectoral and dorsal fins in a walk-like gait. In the video of the new-found walking shark, however, the animal is clearly touching the seafloor.
The shark grows up to 27 inches long and is harmless to humans. The animal has been dubbed Hemiscyllium halmahera, named after the eastern Indonesian island of Halmahera where it was found. Sharks in its genus (the taxonomic group above species) are also known as epaulette sharks, since many sport markings that resemble military epaulettes.
Of all known epaulette or walking sharks, six of nine species hail from Indonesia.