Research

Rare 'dinosaur age' shark found in Portugal

Rare 'dinosaur age' shark found in Portugal

The shark is said to date back 80 million years and features a range of primitive features, such as 300 sharp teeth and a weakened vertebrae among other attributes.

An ancient and rare frilled shark has been found alive off the coast of Portugal, puzzling researchers over its survival.

The predator was male, half a meter long, and was captured in August at a depth of 700 meters.

The discovery was made when a team of European Union scientists were searching in the depths of Atlantic Ocean to find a way to "minimize unwanted catches in commercial fishing". It also has a rather unique teeth arrangement, but there's little else known about the shark's biology or ecology.

The shark was found at a depth of 2,300 feet off the resort of Portimao and measures 5 feet in length.

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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.

In fact, it's so rarely seen, despite being around long before humans, that it wasn't even discovered before the 19th century. The frilled shark - Chlamydoselachus anguineus - is often referred to as a "living fossil".

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. 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.

Samuel Garman, the first researcher to have studied the frilled shark, had reportedly said that the snake-like movements of the frilled shark may have inspired the sea serpent stories of sailors from yore.


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