Catches like these keep alive people’s faith that monsters like Nessy exist. A group of fishermen got quite a shock when they pulled up a terrifying prehistoric shark from the water near Lakes Entrance in Australia’s Victoria province.
Dark brown in color, the eel-like looking beast is a frilled shark, also called the “living fossil”. It was named for its six pairs of frill-like gills along with its dorsal fins. The shark has been around for 80 million years and it is only one of two species still existing from this period.
Simon Boag, South East Trawl Fishing Association (SETFA) chief executive, told the ABC that the men who caught the shark were puzzled by their catch. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. The dark brown, eel-like looking creature is a frilled shark, also known as the ‘living fossil’.
2. Its origins date back to 80 million years and gets its name from its six frill-like gills.
Mr. Boag described what they saw:
It has 300 teeth over 25 rows, so once you’re in that mouth, you’re not coming out. Good for dentists, but it is a freaky thing. I don’t think you would want to show it to little children before they went to bed.
Mr. Boag said that this was the first sighting of a live frilled shark by humans and added:
It does look 80 million years old. It looks prehistoric, it looks like it’s from another time.
The shark was reported to be two meters long ( about seven feet) and was caught at 700 meters 2,300 feet.
The species has been found as deep as than 1,570 meters (about 5,000 ft), but it is rare to find them below 1,200 meters (about 4,000 ft), according to SETFA.
The frilled shark has a dorsal, pelvic and anal fins towards the back end of its body. Its long and flexible jaw enables it to ingest its prey whole as its teeth clamp down and keep the food prey from escaping.
The specimen that was caught was offered to the CSIRO but was not taken in. The shark has been sold off, according to the ABC.
3. It was pulled from the water by fishermen near Lakes Entrance — in the eastern part of Victoria, Australia.
4. The frilled shark has been around for 80 million years and it is only one of two species still existing from this period.
And here is a frilled shark caught on camera:
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