PREHISTORIC-ERA SHARK FOUND OFF THE COAST OF PORTUGAL

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Melanie Kibler

OFF THE COAST OF PORTUGAL – Recently, a shark from the Prehistoric-era was caught up by a fishing boat’s net from more than 2,000 feet below sea level.  This creature is called a frilled shark, and they have been around for about 80 million years, and have a set of 300 teeth.

These creatures are often called “living fossils” because they date back to the time of the dinosaurs and have hardly changed since their beginning.  The frilled sharks are a distant relative of great whites and hammerheads.

The researchers described the shark as having a “long, slim body and a head that is reminiscent of a snake.”  It has a hinged jaw, like modern day sharks, so that it can catch prey with its needle sharp jaws.  

There is little else known about this shark because they are rarely seen.  Scientists are also unsure of how many of these prehistoric creatures there actually are because they live so far underwater.  

The International Union of the Conservation of Nature lists the frilled shark as a least concern, but say that commercial fishing could increase the risk of the shark being caught as bycatch.

When asked on his opinion, Mr. Salerno said, “It shows missing links through the eras on what has evolved.  Fossils, even live ones, show what type of environment was the in the past and how life has evolved in the ocean, especially in the last couple eras.  Also, it shows how many mysteries on earth there still is to find.  It’s just remarkable, the evolutionary process. The shark is kind of neat and I just learned about it.  But it’s really ugly.”

Resources:

“Rarely Seen ‘Prehistoric’ Shark With 300 Teeth Caught.” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 13 Nov. 2017, news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/prehistoric-frilled-shark-bycatch-deep-sea-spd/.