The uncommon frilled shark is taken into account a “living fossil,” as its make-up has remained unchanged for 80 million years. This summer season, researchers discovered one alive and thriving off the coast of Portugal, including proof concerning the resilience of this historic sea creature.
The shark was found off the Algarve coast by researchers who have been engaged on a European Union challenge within the space, the BBC reported. The purpose of the challenge was to “minimize unwanted catches in commercial fishing,” however the crew unknowingly unearthed one of many rarest and most historic animals on the planet.
The frilled shark has remained the identical, each in and out, because the time of the dinosaurs, with scientists courting it again to the Cretaceous Period, a time when the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops nonetheless roamed the planet. The creature is extremely merely and unevolved, most definitely because of the lack of vitamins present in its deep-sea dwellings, a earlier Japanese examine on the shark urged. The examination revealed that its food plan is 61 p.c cephalopods—the identical clbad that squids and octopus belong to.
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This fish isn’t seen by people however has lived on the Earth since lengthy earlier than man. Awashima Marine Park/Getty Images
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This deep sea dweller is normally discovered between 390 and four,200 toes beneath the floor, which is why it’s hardly ever seen and wasn’t even found earlier than the 19th century (regardless of being round lengthy earlier than man).
The shark caught this summer season measured round 5 toes in size, however at their longest could be round six-and-a-half toes, IFL Science reported. The Japanese examine on these uncommon sharks confirmed that they might even have the longest gestation interval of any dwelling creature, 42 months.
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While its identify might sound unfitting for a beast that swims the deep seas, in accordance with Mental Floss, the frilled shark is known as after its gills. Pretty a lot all different sharks have separate gills, however the frilled shark’s first pair of gills stretch all the best way throughout its throat. In whole, the shark has six pairs of gills which have “frilly” edges.
This dwelling fossil has remained unchanged for 80 million years. By OpenCage (https://opencage.information/pics.e/large_13408.asp) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], by way of Wikimedia Commons
The shark additionally has a singular mouth form. Its jaw has greater than 300 enamel neatly lined in 25 rows, which, in accordance with professor Margarida Castro of the University of the Algarve, are particularly designed to badist it “to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges,” The Portugal News reported. It’s lined with spines referred to as dermal denticles, which, mixed with the enamel, give the mouth an throughout horrifying look.
All in all, it’s unlikely you’ll ever come face-to-face with a dwelling frilled shark, however in the event you do, it’s protected to remain: Keep as far-off as you’ll be able to, and no matter you do, attempt to keep away from its ferociously superior jaw.