It is 56 centimeters long, albino and has a single large eye in the center of the head. He was never born - he was extracted when he was still a fetus with a mother's belly, legally fished off the island of Cerralvo, in the Gulf of California, Mexico - but his photos are already around the web. Even if the shot can impress, this cyclops shark is the bearer of a defect that is not rare among animals, and is also present in men (1 every 250 embryos). The species in question is a carcarino (Carcharhinus obscurus), a shark that can reach 4 meters in length.
See all the photos of the polyphemus fish.
In a female, captured by a Mexican fisherman, some embryos have been found that are almost entirely developed (the carcarini are viviparous, that is, they produce small live ones) one of which had only one eye.
The birth of these animals is probably due to a mutation (or a malfunction) in the genes that regulate eye formation; at some point in growth one of the "regulatory genes", which coordinate the expression of other genes, may work too much (or too little) and thus prevent other genes from inducing the division into two of the part of the brain that produces the fields visual, and therefore the eyes. In most cases, and this is what happens in humans, the defect is so serious that the fetus dies before birth or shortly after birth. This is why animals suffering from cyclopia do not go beyond the stage of embryos or newborns. Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences in La Paz (Mexico) learned of the find thanks to some photos posted on Facebook. After contacting the fisherman to ask him for permission to use the specimen for scientific purposes, they took an x-ray of the animal and documented it on similar precedents before concluding that it was indeed a cyclops shark.
More impressive images in this photogallery (watch)