Japanese Topeshark (Hemitriakis japanica)

…a species of Houndshark (Triakidae) which occurs in waters in the subtropical northwest Pacific, ranging from China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Japanese topesharks typically occur in inshore and offshore waters to at least 100 m, and are thought to feed on small fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Chondrichthyes-Elasmobranchii-Selachimorpha-Carchariniformes-Triakidae-Hemitriakis-H. japanica

Image: RYO SATO

Rats ‘not main cause of Black Death’

Black rats may not have been to blame for numerous outbreaks of the bubonic plague across Europe, a study suggests.

Scientists believe repeat epidemics of the Black Death, which arrived in Europe in the mid-14th Century, instead trace back to gerbils from Asia.

Prof Nils Christian Stenseth, from the University of Oslo, said: “If we’re right, we’ll have to rewrite that part of history.”

The study is in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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