Nightmare-worthy prehistoric shark wrenched from deep waters
Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 8:54 AM - It is an underwater creature that is rarely seen.
And the image of a live frilled shark is not one that Australian fishermen are likely to forget.
The rare prehistoric shark was captured by a fishing trawler off the coast of southeastern Australia in waters more than a kilometre deep.
The frilled shark is named for six sets of fringe-like gills that run the length of its elongated body.
It is often referred to as a "living fossil." With an ancestry dating back about 80 million years, it is one of only two related species still alive from that period.
Frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus). Courtesy of Wikipedia.
The nightmarish appearance of the deep water shark closely resembles that of an eel or snake. It can grow to lengths of about 2 metres.
But if that isn't terrifying enough -- the creature's jaws hold 25 rows of about 300 pointy, needle-shaped teeth.
The chances of encountering one of these rare swimmers is extremely slim. They tend to live in deep waters in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at depths of about 1500 metres.
The recent catch marks the first time in living memory that a frilled shark has been seen alive, according to the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association.
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