Underwater Assassin: Deep-sea shark with 300 teeth caught in Portugal

A 1.5-meter (5 feet) shark was caught by Portuguese fishermen at a depth of about 600 meters. These sharks are extremely rare and first appeared as a species 80 million years ago.

The so-called frilled shark looks more like a snake or an eel. It lives in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans at great depths up to 1500 meters. This species was first described at the end of the 19th century, but since then very few specimens have fallen into human hands.

In natural conditions, the frilled shark was filmed for the first time only in 2004. The most remarkable detail in the appearance of these sharks is their jaws with about 300 strange circular teeth. The jaws are huge, agile and ideal for catching squid and fast fish.

Very little is known about the lifestyle of frilled sharks. They are mainly caught near Japan and Australia; off the coast of Portugal, such a shark was discovered for the first time.

There is a hypothesis that such sharks served as sources of myths about sea snakes, since their heads are very similar to snakes. Although it is difficult to take this seriously, since these sharks do not swim close to the surface.

The only reliable case of the appearance of a frilled shark on the surface occurred in 2007. Shark was picked up and placed in a marine aquarium, but after only a few hours the fish died, as it was initially very weak and probably sick.

Scientists don’t know how many frilled sharks exist, as they lurk at extreme depths where they are shrouded in constant darkness, crushing pressure, and extremely cold temperatures.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature does not designate the frilled shark as an endangered species, but they warn that an increase in commercial deep-sea fishing could increase the number of deep-sea sharks pulled in trawler nets.

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