Tags: sofa | shark | spotted | rare | scotland

Sofa Shark — Flabby, Blob-Like Creature — Captured in Scotland

Image: Sofa Shark — Flabby, Blob-Like Creature — Captured in Scotland
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By    |   Tuesday, 06 Oct 2015 02:45 PM

A sofa shark was pulled up off the coast of Scotland recently in a rare find that marks only the second time in history that a member of the species has been spotted in those waters.

The shark — which is officially called a false catshark, or Pseudotriakis microdon — is called a “sofa” shark because of its excessively saggy appearance, according to Newsweek. The most recent sighting is the first in 15 years in Scottish waters.

“I was pretty surprised when it landed in our boat,” said marine biologist Francis Neat, according to The Scotsman. “We quickly measured and weighed it before sending it back into the water . . . It’s not unique to Scotland but it’s certainly interesting to look at — it’s a big and baggy-looking creature [that] looks a lot like a soft, discarded sofa when it’s just lying there.”



The researchers who discovered the flabby, blob-like shark work for Marine Scotland in the Outer Hebrides, according to The Scotsman, and they caught the shark near the Barra and St. Kilda islands. It was identified as a 6.5-foot long female weighing nearly 132 pounds.

Sofa sharks, which can span up to 10 feet in length, have been found previously in a select few locations, including Iceland and New Zealand, according to Newsweek. They usually swim between 650-6,200 feet beneath the surface, and their rarity is due in part to their relatively slow reproductive and sexual maturity rates. The sofa shark’s oily liver contributes 25 percent of its overall weight, thus causing the flabby shark to move slowly through the water while hovering effortlessly near the ocean floor, according to the International Business Times.

One spokesman for the Scottish Tagging Program noted the particular significance of this latest sofa shark sighting.

“Not too long ago we were told that there were only 32 different types of shark in Scottish waters, but in the past year we have learned that there are actually 72 different species, many of which are in deep water,” the spokesman said, according to The Scotsman.

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A sofa shark was pulled up off the coast of Scotland recently in a rare find that marks only the second time in history that a member of the species has been spotted in those waters.
sofa, shark, spotted, rare, scotland
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2015-45-06
Tuesday, 06 Oct 2015 02:45 PM
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