Scientists Find Inflatable Shark, 300 New Species

Treasure trove of strange new creatures discovered by scientists
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2011 5:56 PM CDT
A breed of swell shark is among 300 new species discovered this past spring in the Philippines.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – No, it's not a pool toy. Researchers have discovered a new species of inflatable shark, along with more than 300 other previously unknown varieties of creatures dwelling in the Philippines. Among the finds: the shrimp-eating shark that fills itself with water to inflate and scare off predators; dozens of new insects, spiders, and armored corals; and more than 50 brightly colored sea slugs, reports LiveScience.

Researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, the University of the Philippines, and the National Museum of the Philippines made the finds on a treacherous 42-day expedition this past spring to Luzon Island. They discovered a treasure trove of strange species including a sea star that feeds only on sunken driftwood and corals that protect themselves by sprouting large, spiky plates. Check out a photo gallery of some of the creatures here.

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