Dinosaur-Era Shark With 300 Teeth Still Swims the Ocean

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

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

Researchers from Portugal's national meteorological, seismic, sea and atmospheric organisation, IPMA, said it was a "true living fossil", because its remains had been unchanged for 80 million years, according to BBC News' translation of a Sic Noticias report.

Scientists believe it resides off the coast of Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

Portugal's Institute for Sea and Atmosphere is part of the Europe-wide MINOUW Project, which is made up of maritime science bodies from the continent, bringing together scientists, fishermen, NGOs and even policy makers.

It's a rare discovery given the depths in which the shark Chlamydoselachus anguineus is found, living 500 to 1,000 metres below the sea. This deep sea creature usually lies at a depth of 390 and 4,200 feet below the surface, which is one one of the main reasons it was not discovered before the 19th century. The interesting thing was that the prehistoric frilled shark was caught alive and not in the form of fossils. There are a lot of things to that are unknown about this rare and unique frilled shark.

Its name may sound unfitting for a beast that swims the deep seas, but as Mental Floss explains the frilled shark is named after its gills. The shark has six pair of gills which is frilly edges.

The researchers caught the mysterious creature off the coast of the Algarve, which has a long, snake-like body and 300 teeth.

It's lined with spines called dermal denticles, which, combined with the teeth, give the mouth an all around frightening look. But if you do, it's safe to say: Keep as far away as you can, and whatever you do, try to avoid its ferociously awesome jaw.

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