'Living Fossil' discovered off Portugese coast

'Living Fossil' discovered off Portugese coast

'Living Fossil' discovered off Portugese coast

An atypical study led by a group of scientists from the Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere has discovered one of the oldest living species of the frilled shark swimming off the coast of Portugal.

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.

Researchers from IPMA and the Centre for Maritime Sciences recorded the catching of a shark "with unusual features" by a commercial trawler, as part of an "initiative to minimise undesirable catches in European fisheries". The shark has six pair of gills which is frilly edges.

Not much is known about the shark's environment or biology because it lives in great depths of water, which is also why it is rarely caught.

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The shark boasts an intimidating arrangement of some 300 teeth arranged in 25 rows "which allows it to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges", according to Margarida Castro of the University of the Algarve. Scientists date it back to the Cretaceous Period - when the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops roamed the planet.

Its typical habitat is deep underwater in the Atlantic and off the coasts of Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The scientists further said that the rare and ancient creature might have inspired 19th-century tales of "sea serpents".

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. Scientists only know that these are one of the creepiest creatures existing beneath the ocean surface.

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

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