Rarely seen 'living fossil' frilled shark caught off Algarve coast

Rarely seen ‘living fossil’ frilled shark caught off Algarve coast

The "shark from the age of the dinosaurs" is capable of trapping "squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges". The interesting thing was that the prehistoric frilled shark was caught alive and not in the form of fossils.

Scientists from Portugal's Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) have dubbed the catch a "living fossil", after using techniques to identify the animal that indicates the species dates back nearly 80 million years.

A group of scientists working on an European Union research and conservation mission captured a terrifying-looking shark off the Algarve coast in August - but struggled to identify it, until now.

The discovery of the shark - a male 1.5 metres in length (5ft) and caught at a depth of 700 metres (2,300ft) off the resort of Portimao - was considered a rare find. The gills are frilly with fluffy edges.

The creature gets its name from the frilled nature of its teeth, which allow it to devour its food.

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The reason people are not much aware about this freaky creature is because of its rare contact with human as it lives deep down the oceans, off the coasts of Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

Portugal's Institute for Sea and Atmosphere is part of the Europe-wide MINOUW Project, which is made up of maritime science bodies from the continent, bringing together scientists, fishermen, NGOs and even policy makers.

The frilled shark has a remarkably simple anatomy, probably because of a lack of nutrients in its aquatic environment.

It's an ultra rare shark named Chlamydoselachus anguineus. They are members of some of the most ancient groups of sharks in the world.

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