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Rarely seen 'living fossil' frilled shark caught off Algarve coast

13 November 2017

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. This summer, researchers found one alive and thriving off the coast of Portugal, adding yet more clues about the resilience of this ancient sea creature.

As per reports, the Institute said that the fish measured 1.5 metes in length was caught from the waters off the resort of Portimao at a depth of 700 meters. The researchers of the European Union project discovered this snake-head in the Algarve coast this summer, BBC reported. It is rarely caught because it lives at great depths.

Scientists believe the frilled shark has remained the same, both inside and out, since the Cretaceous Period, when the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops still roamed the planet.

The reason people are not much aware about this weird 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 only know that these are one of the creepiest creatures existing beneath the ocean surface. It has also been speculated that the frilled shark influenced 19th century sailors stories of sea serpents. The largest the frilled shark can grow is up to six feet long that is the size of a tall man.

This time, however, scientists have come across an exceptionally rare find: a living fossil.

However, the shark gets its name from the 300 teeth that line its mouth in a frilled appearance, "which allows it to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges", Professor Margarida Castro of the University of the Algarve told Sic Noticias.

Rarely seen 'living fossil' frilled shark caught off Algarve coast