Hollywood has its next big horror flick. A rare shark caught off the Australian coast is making headlines for its bizarre looks, prehistoric origins, and 300 jagged teeth. The shark, called a frilled shark, is one more example of how the Earth is a mysterious place.
Fisherman David Guillot described the deep-sea frilled shark to 3AW radio.
“It was like a large eel, probably 1.5 meters [about 5 feet] long, and the body was quite different to any other shark I’d ever seen. The head on it was like something out of a horror movie. It was quite horrific looking.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 21, 2015
The rare shark’s eating habits are equally disturbing. Its 300 teeth are not used for chewing; rather, they work as a cage for prey, which the frill shark swallows whole.
Simon Boag of the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA) said “it has 300 teeth over 25 rows, so once you’re in that mouth, you’re not coming out.”
“Good for dentists, but it is a freaky thing. I don’t think you would want to show it to little children before they went to bed.”
NPR reports that the frill shark gets its name from its six pairs of gills, another trait from its prehistoric past.
The rare shark can trace its origins back to the dinosaurs 80 million years ago. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the shark was first recognized and cataloged in 1884. It was called a “living fossil,” since its closest related species is the cow shark, which dates back 95 million years.
It usually stays in deep waters. One was even caught at a depth of 5,150 feet (1,570 meters), but its common depth is about 160–660 feet (50–200 meters), in Suruga Bay in Japan.
In this case, the fishermen caught the shark in their net when they were trawling off the Australian coast.
The SETFIA could not find another fisherman who had caught the elusive shark. Though, not many try.
The frilled shark isn’t something people generally want to eat, and it has no other commercial value. The International Union for Conservation of Nature gives the fish a “near threatened” rating, one worse than “least concerned.” The sharks aren’t fished and generally stay out of human’s reach, but still accidental captures like this one can harm the population given their low reproductive rates.
To learn more about the rare frilled shark like the one that was recently caught, watch the Discovery Channel clip below.