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Portuguese trawler catches 'prehistoric shark' during mission to 'minimise commercial fishing'

13 November 2017

The frilled shark has inhabited the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

A little-known frilled shark has been found off the Algarve coast in Portugal by scientists, who were conducting research on minimising unwanted catches in European fisheries.

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

Portuguese scientists have discovered a new kind of terrifying shark in the ocean with a snake-head and 300 teeth, dubbed as "a shark from the dinosaur age". The gills of the shark has frilly, fluffy edges, but the cuddly factor ends abruptly there.

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The scientists from the country's Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere dubbed the shark a "living fossil" because remains have been dated back 80 million years, making it one of very few species of such antiquity still around today.

The male shark, which measured 1.5m, was caught near the resort of Portimao.

Talking about their latest findings Professor Margarida Castro, a researcher from the University of the Algarve said, "The shark gets its name from the frilled arrangement of its 300 teeth which allows it to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges", reported Sic Noticias. Scientists date it back to the Cretaceous Period - when the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops roamed the planet.

Since frilled sharks exist in deep sea, their exact population is also unknown.

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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.

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The frilled shark has a remarkably simple anatomy, probably because of a lack of nutrients in its aquatic environment.

Frilled sharks are called also "living fossils" because they have barely changed from the prehistoric times.

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Portuguese trawler catches 'prehistoric shark' during mission to 'minimise commercial fishing'