Prehistoric shark caught in Portugese waters, scientists call it a 'living fossil'

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

The prehistoric shark, called the frilled shark, is one of the oldest - nearly present since 80 million years - and reportedly the creepiest one still thriving under the ocean waters.

The shark boasts an intimidating arrangement of some 300 teeth arranged in 25 rows "which allows it to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges", according to Margarida Castro of the University of the Algarve.

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 captured shark was found to be a male specimen that measured five feet in length, with a slim and long snake-like body.

The scientists from the country's Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere called the shark a "living fossil" because it has remained unchanged for 80 million years, making it one of very few species of such antiquity that's still around today.

An even harder-to-spot cousin of Chlamydoselachus anguineus is Megachasma pelagios - or the megamouth shark - of which there have only been 63 confirmed sightings.

This is mostly due to the fact that it lives at depths that are rarely ventured to by humans. Frilled sharks are known for having extra gills, big mouths, eyes on the side of their heads and also spineless back. fins. Scientists, therefore, have not been able to study it in research laboratories and there is also little footage of the primeval shark in its natural habitat. Experts do not know the representatives of this species well, as they are found in great depths in the Atlantic, as well as near the shores of Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

This isn't the first time that a frilled shark has been caught.

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