Tags: rare | frilled | shark | portugal

Rare Frilled Shark Off Portugal Coast May Date to Cretaceous Period

Image: Rare Frilled Shark Off Portugal Coast May Date to Cretaceous Period

In this handout picture released by Awashima Marine Park, a 1.6 meter long Frill shark swims in a tank after being found by a fisherman at a bay in Numazu, on January 21, 2007, in Numazu, Japan. (Awashima Marine Park/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 13 Nov 2017 02:30 PM

A rare frilled shark whose species is thought to have existed for 80 million years was found over the summer by researchers who were conducting a research project off the coast of Portugal.

The European Union researchers were trying to figure out how to "minimize unwanted catches in commercial fishing" when they caught the shark, according to the BBC.

The sharks live hundreds to thousands of feet underwater and can grow to be 6 feet long. They resemble an eel and may have been the source for sailors’ tales of sea serpents, the BBC reported. They have layers of frilly gills on their sides along with 25 rows of teeth, about 300 in all.

Scientists believe the shark, known as Chlamydoselachus anguineus, is a living fossil that has not changed or evolved since the Cretaceous Period, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, Newsweek reported. They believe this is because of a lack of nutrients found deep under the sea.

A Japanese study showed that the shark’s diet is over 60 percent cephalopods—namely squid and octopus, Newsweek reported. The shark was first discovered in the 19th century despite its longevity. It is rarely caught because of the depth at which it normally swims, and not much footage of the shark in its natural habitat exists, the BBC reported.

Many Twitter users considered the shark much ado about nothing since it isn’t a previously unknown species, just a rarely caught one.

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A rare frilled shark whose species is thought to have existed for 80 million years was found over the summer by researchers who were conducting a research project off the coast of Portugal.
rare, frilled, shark, portugal
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2017-30-13
Monday, 13 Nov 2017 02:30 PM
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