OUR LIVING PLANET:
There are an estimated 440 species of shark in the world’s oceans and seas – and until now all of them had teeth.
But take a bow, Australia, because the world’s first totally toothless shark has been discovered in warm, shallow waters not far north from Sydney Harbour.
Yes, believe it or not. Even harmless shark species have teeth of some sort. Until now.
The new gummy species creates a ninth order for the sea creature, and it will challenge the accepted collective noun used for the animal worldwide by fearful sailors for centuries : a fang of sharks.
The only stumbling block is that the group of marine scientists who found the small family of the new species off Bateau Bay north of Gosford can’t agree on what scientific name to apply to the harmless, bottom-feeding shark.
One suggestion for the toothless beast is Australis Electorus Commissionii, or the AEC Shark, in honour of the Australian Electoral Commission’s performance in a current court case in which it has argued that it’s okay for a political party to put up signs right beside AEC signs using the same colours and telling electors their vote won’t be valid unless they vote Liberal.
“Here we have a species that’s toothless and entirely harmless,” one scientist backing that name told The Bug. “We had been talking about the AEC on board our research vessel and the link is so, so obvious.”
But other scientists present when the rare toothless shark discovery was made believe the species should be called the Aytripleceeus or ACCC Shark, in honour of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s tireless efforts over many years in trying to gum recalcitrant entities into some form of pathetic, faux admission they can barely disguise their glee over.
Yet another small grouping within the scientists fascinated by how the species survives without teeth – it just sits in slimy mud, sucking in and spitting out its own and other species’ excreta for sustenance – want to call it Alanus joneseii twogeebeeus or, because of its ugly red head, Paulinushansonitie dumbasfuckus.
“Either of those names would be perfect,” another scientist said. “This shark is a total waste of space. It’s not even part of the food chain; it eats no other living organism and has no predators itself because, well, for obvious reasons it tastes like shit.”
Even one lone member of the team wanted…
Oh, for fuck’s sake, people out there in Bugland! You’re totally capable of finishing off this silly, childish, undergraduate-standard story.
Make up your own scientific name for this species out of the many toothless tigers around Australia that supposedly regulate, control and punish wrongdoers and protect consumers/the general public from the various bodies/institutions across our corporate, government and quasi-government sectors. It’s not that hard. Pick up any utilities bill you have at hand.