Photo: Rare Frilled Shark Caught Near Australia

By  //  January 22, 2015

Dates back 80 million years

A rarely seen frilled shark known as the living fossil was caught off Australia ( Getty image )

AUSTRALIA – This extremely rare frilled shark has been pulled out of the water by a fishing trawler near Lakes Entrance in Australian waters.

Scientists from Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, have confirmed that the specimen is a frilled shark.

Chlamydoselachus anguineus, a rare species that’s ancestory dates back 80 million years.

The skipper who caught the shark hadn’t seen anything like it before.

“I’ve been at sea for 30 years and I’ve never seen a shark that looks like that,” said David Guillot, the captain of the Western Alliance Vessell, telling radio station 3AW Drive.

“It was like a large eel, probably 1.5 meters (5 feet) long, and the body was quite different to any other shark I’d ever seen.”

The fact it looks like the chest-buster from Alien, it’s a fascinating and rare discovery and the first time the species has been seen in the region.

“It’s a freaky thing,” Simon Boag, the chief executive officer at South East Trawl Fishing Association, told Australia’s ABC Rural. “I don’t think you would want to show it to little children before they went to bed.”

A rarely seen frilled shark known as the living fossil was caught off Australia (Photo by SETFIA.ORG.AU)

The frilled shark may capture prey by bending its body and lunging forward like a snake.

The long, extremely flexible jaws enable it to swallow prey whole, while its many rows of small, needle-like teeth make it difficult for the prey to escape.

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It feeds mainly on cephalopods, leavened by bony fishes and other sharks.

Frilled sharks are usually found as deep as 1,570 meters below the ocean’s surface.