‘Living fossil’ caught in Australia


A group of fishermen got a bit of a shock when they pulled a rare Frilled shark out of the water.

The Frilled shark, Chlamydoselachus anguineus, which looks like a cross between an eel and a shark, was caught near Lakes Entrance in Victoria in water 700m deep.

It was estimated to be around 2m in length. The common name of Frilled shark comes from its six frill-like gill slits, the first pair of which meet across the throat, giving the appearance of a collar. It’s seldom seen, and may capture prey by bending its body and lunging forward like a snake.

The origins of the species are thought to date back 80 million years.

Simon Boag, of the South East Trawl Fishing Association (SETFA), told ABC News: "It has 300 teeth over 25 rows, so once you're in that mouth, you're not coming out. I don't think you would want to show it to little children before they went to bed."

He added that it was the first time in living memory that the species has been seen alive by humans.

The specimen was offered to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) but the offer was not accepted as it already holds examples of the species, so it is now believed to have been sold.

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