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Shark mystery as super-rare ancient ‘living fossil’ with 300 teeth caught by fishermen

NewsShark mystery as super-rare ancient ‘living fossil’ with 300 teeth caught by fishermen

The frilled shark is a pre-historic creature with 300 teeth that has been roaming the seas since the time of the dinosaurs. Dubbed the “living fossil”, the creatures have hardly even changed over the last 80 million years. But coming across these baffling specimens is not a current occurrence. That’s why when fishermen spotted a frilled shark 2,000 metres below the surface of the sea in Portugal back in 2017, they were left stunned.

Researchers at the time said they were undertaking an EU project to keep the unwanted catches in commercial fishing to a minimum after coming across one of the rarest finds in the oceans.

The shark around was five feet long and pictures shared online put its terrifying teeth and long body on full display.

It was caught at a depth of 700 metres (2,300 ft) in Portimao, near the Algarve.

The Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere confirmed that there is very little known about the species because it is so rare to come across.

There is also barely any footage of the creatures in their natural habitats, which are in the depths of the Atlantic and off the coasts of Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Despite being so rare, it is understood that the creatures are said to swim in a snake-like way.

They are also thought to prey on squids, various fishes and even other types of sharks.

Their 300 terrifying long teeth sill their mouths in several rows, each with three long points that are well suited to snatching prey in their jaws.

Professor Margarida Castro of the University of the Algarve told Sic Noticias said that their jaws allow them `’to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges”.

They also have slim and long bodies and a distant relatives of other more well-known sharks like Great Whites.

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An official from the park said: “We believe moving pictures of a live specimen are extremely rare.

“They live between 600 and 1,000 meters under the water, which is deeper than humans can go.

“We think it may have come close to the surface because it was sick, or else it was weakened because it was in shallow waters.”

But the creature died just a few hours after being caught in Japan.

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