Rare species of Frilled Shark caught in Australia

Frilled FishA rare, 300-toothed frilled shark, whose species dates back to 80 million years was caught in a fishing trawler, was caught as deep as 1570 m (5150 ft), although it is uncommon below 1200 m (3900 ft), off the waters of Victoria, Australia in December 2014.

This rare species is found over the outer continental shelf and upper continental slope, generally near the bottom, though there is evidence of substantial upward movements.

South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association posted an image of the catch on its website. According to the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA), the shark is known as a ‘living fossil.’

The shark was offered as a specimen to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia.

About the Frilled Shark:

The shark is about 6 feet in length, with a body that looks like an eel and has a shark-like tail. The shark has 300 needle-shaped teeth in 25 rows and it is believed to capture its prey by bending its body like a snake.

The long, extremely flexible jaws enable it to swallow prey whole, while its many rows of small, needle-like teeth make it difficult for the prey to escape. It feeds mainly on cephalopods, leavened by bony fishes and other sharks.

The frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus) is one of two extant species of shark in the family Chlamydoselachidae, with a wide but patchy distribution in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Its common name comes from the frilly or fringed appearance of its six pairs of gill slits, with the first pair meeting across the throat. Seldom observed, the frilled shark may capture prey by bending its body and lunging forward like a snake.


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