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

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

The sharks are called living fossil because their evolution has remained unchanged for 80 million years.

Scientists from the Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere caught the rare frilled shark while working a project to 'minimise unwanted catches in commercial fishing, ' according to Sic Noticias TV.

The frilled shark still retains many of its primitive features: it has a dark brown eel-like body with its dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins placed far back - it captures its prey by bending its body and lunging forward like a snake.

The weird creature, known as a frilled shark, dates back around 80 million years, making it one of the oldest species still around today.

Researchers were working on a project related to minimizing excessive commercial fishing when they stumbled upon the freaky creature.

The discovery of the shark - a male 1.5 metres in length (5ft) and caught at a depth of 700 metres (2,300ft) off the resort of Portimao - was considered a rare find.

In fact, it's so rarely seen, despite being around long before humans, that it wasn't even discovered before the 19th century. It is also found living in the great depths of the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, particularly off the coasts of New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.

The frilled shark's mouth gives an appearance of it being bigger in size than other sharks; however, this is because the mouth stretches to the back of its head instead of ending beneath the skull. The frilled shark has inhabited the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They are sometimes caught accidently in fishing nets but they do not live long outside their natural habitat.

This isn't the first time that a frilled shark has been caught, a year ago a fisherman called Roman Fedortsov had posted pictures of a frilled shark he caught in Russian Federation.

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