Off the coast of the Algarve region in southern Portugal researchers at IPMA (the national meteorological, seismic, sea and atmospheric organisation of Portugal) made a mind-blowing discovery. They managed to capture a living frilled shark specimen at 2300 feet.
A real prehistoric species
Speaking with Portuguese outlet SIC Noticisas TV, researchers explained that they were conducting a European Union experiment in order to attempt to reduce the amount of bycatch when trawling, when they managed the incredibly rare catch.
This prehistoric species has the appearance of a real sea monster; with a head halfway between that of a snake and a moray eel. They have dark brown long and thin body of up to 6.5 feet and finally with an ultra brutal technique of trapping its prey (he bends his body before throwing it sharply forward). These creatures are considered to be true 'living fossils' because in as much as 80 million years they have changed very little.
They have a very flexible jaw filled with 300 tiny, needle-like teeth spread out over twenty-five rows. Typically they will swallow their prey whole and their teeth help prevent the victims escape, they also use their pearly whites to attract prey. However, due to their little size and distant habitat, these sharks are unlikely to ever be harmful to humans.
A female can carry her young inside her for almost three and a half years, which is the longest gestation period of any vertebrate.
Where can you find a frilled shark?
The frilled shark usually lives at depths between 1640 and 5300 feet, except in Suruga Bay, Japan, where it is most commonly found at depths of 164 to 650 feet. This almost prehistoric creature can also be found in Australian waters. Back in 2007, fisherman managed to capture one of the rare sharks near the surface of the water while it was still alive. They suspected that the shark must have been sick and it dies shortly after being transported to an aquatic park.