Fishermen in Australia have caught a ‘horrific’ frilled shark that dates back 80 million years. It has a length of two meters, and has got far more teeth than most sharks. The frilled shark has 25 rows with a total of 300 needle-like teeth in them. By comparison, the great white shark has only 50 teeth. This living fossil living 1,300 feet below the sea level was caught in waters off south-eastern Victoria, Australia.
It was ‘quite scary’
The rarely-sighted prehistoric creature’s scientific name is Chlamydoselachus anguineus. It was first described in 1884. It looks part-eel, part-shark, and shocked the fishermen who captured it. David Guillot caught it while trawling at 1,100 meters about a week ago. When he pulled up a specimen in water near Lakes Entrance in Gippsland, Mr Guillot thought he had discovered some new species of shark.
Guillot told Fairfax Radio that he had been at sea for over 30 years, but never saw a shark look like that. It was still alive when he got it to the surface. It couldn’t survive after being pulled up from the ocean depths. Guillot said it was “quite scary” and looked like “something out of a horror movie.” Notably, no one remembers ever seeing a frilled shark in the area before, reports Sydney Morning Herald.
How the frilled shark got its name
The frilled shark is known to be found at extreme depths in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Mark Meekan, a shark biologist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. But they are rarely caught because their habitat is off limits to fishing. Guillot offered to shark to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, but the institute already had a specimen.
The frilled shark got its name from six pairs of frilly-like gill slits. Its closest relative is the cow shark that dates back to 95 million years. The shark eats octopus and squid, and is capable of swallowing prey almost half its size.