cyclopes shark

Leon was shocked to see a male, unusual embryo with its nine siblings. He noticed right away that the odd looking shark has a single eye at the front of its head. (Enrique Lucero León)

Earlier this year, Enrique Lucero Leon, a fisherman in California, brought home something unexpected after fishing – a 22 inch albino Cyclops shark. It happened in July but photos released on the internet are still catching people’s attention. Leon caught a pregnant dusky shark legally from the Gulf of California. When he cut his catch open, he was shocked to see a male, unusual embryo with its nine siblings. He noticed right away that the odd looking shark has a single eye at the front of its head.  

The pictures of this one-eyed shark are still catching people’s attention and have become viral appearing on different sites like Huffingtonpost, Yahoo, Facebook, and almost anywhere on the web.

When Galvan-Magana and Marcela Bejarano-Alvares found out about the new discovery aired on Facebook, they asked for Leon’s permission to borrow the shark for research. They review previous cyclopia searches, a congenital condition which happens in some species of animals and even humans.

“Cyclops sharks have been documented by scientists a few times before, also as embryos” said shark biologist Jim Gelsleichter.

“The fact that none have been caught outside the womb suggests cyclops sharks don’t survive long in the wild.”

Upon checking the unborn fetus, Galvan-Magana also claimed that the shark is also suffering from other deformities.

“The cyclops shark also has other deformities, including albinism, or a total lack of tissue pigments; no nostrils; a bump on its snout; and a spinal abnormality” he said.

“A mother’s poor diet—especially a lack of vitamin A—can cause cyclopia in mammals, including people, but it’s difficult to determine the cause of the condition in sharks”

But it was clearly stated that the abnormalities and deformities were not caused by pollution because the Gulf of California is free from any types of harmful substances and is definitely a pristine zone. Despite a number of deformities, the rest of the body is normal and has fully formed body parts that would be essential for swimming.

Because of its oddity, Leon is preserving the Cyclops shark fetus but he is open in having it tested.

“León regards the cyclops shark as a prize and has already preserved his oddity in alcohol.” Said Galvan-Magana

“Lots of people want to buy the shark, but the fisherman says no.”

It was clearly stated that the abnormalities and deformities were caused by pollution because the Gulf of California is free from any types of harmful substances and is definitely a pristine zone. (Enrique Lucero León)

“The fact that none have been caught outside the womb suggests cyclops sharks don’t survive long in the wild.” (Marcela Bejarano)

Despite a number of deformities, the rest of the body is normal and has fully formed body parts that would be essential for swimming. (Marcela Bejarano)

*Looks like Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc.

-Artisan

A rare single-eyed albino shark was found by a fisherman.

the Cyclops shark, sliced from the belly of a pregnant mama dusky shark caught by a commercial fisherman in the Gulf of California earlier this summer, is by all reports the real thing. Shark researchers have examined the preserved creature and found that its single eye is made of functional optical tissue, they said last week. It’s unlikely, however, that the malformed creature would have survived outside the womb.

Cyclopia

(also cyclocephaly or synophthalmia) is a rare form of holoprosencephaly and is a congenital disorder (birth defect) characterized by the failure of the embryonic prosencephalon to properly divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities. Its incidence is 1 in 16,000 in born animals, and 1 in 250 in embryos, one in 2,500 that end in miscarriage.

Typically, the nose is either missing or replaced with a non-functioning nose in the form of a proboscis. Such a proboscis generally appears above the central eye, or on the back, and is characteristic of a form of cyclopia called rhinencephaly or rhinocephaly. Most such embryos are either naturally aborted or are stillborn upon delivery.

Although cyclopia is rare, several cyclopic human babies are preserved in medical museums (e.g. The Vrolik Museum, Amsterdam).

Some extreme cases of cyclopia have been documented in farm animals (horses, sheep, pigs, and sometimes chickens). In such cases, the nose and mouth fail to form, or the nose grows from the roof of the mouth obstructing airflow, resulting in suffocation shortly after birth.

Notable cases

  • A British description from 1665 of a colt apparently suffering from cyclopia reads:

First, That it had no sign of any Nose in the usual place, nor had it any, in any other place of the Head, unless the double Bagg CC that grew out of the midst of the forehead, were some rudiment of it. Next, That the two Eyes were united into one Double Eye which was placed just in the middle of the Brow.

  • On 1 March 1793 a 46-year-old woman in Boalts Torp, GlimåkraSweden gave birth to a child with cyclopia that died after 2 hours. The child was 35 cm long, its face without nose and nostrils, the lidless eye with no eyebrow sat raised on the middle of the forehead like a large blueberry. The wrists were somewhat crooked as well as the right foot which was completely crooked and bent inwards. It was not clear whether it was a boy or a girl but it was believed to be the former.
    External image
    A Swedish description from 1793 of a newborn with cyclopia
  • On December 28, 2005, a kitten with cyclopia, “Cy”, was born in RedmondOregonUnited States and died about one day after birth.
  • In 2006, a baby girl in India with cyclopia was born. Her only eye was in the center of her forehead. She did not have a nose and her brain was fused into a single hemisphere. The child died 1 day after her birth.
  • In 2011 a cyclops shark fetus was discovered in the body of a caught shark in Mexico, with no discernible nose and one giant eye. The unborn fetus was turned over for medical studies.
  • In 2012 (October 10), a small kitten was born. Its eye was in the center of the forehead and there was no developed nose to be found. The small cat died shortly after it was born. It was nicknamed Cleyed the Cyclops.