Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Dinosaur-Era Shark With 300 Teeth Still Swims the Ocean

Dinosaur-Era Shark With 300 Teeth Still Swims the Ocean

The prehistoric shark, called the frilled shark, is one of the oldest - nearly present since 80 million years - and reportedly the creepiest one still thriving under the ocean waters.

A group of scientists working on an European Union research and conservation mission captured a terrifying-looking shark off the Algarve coast in August - but struggled to identify it, until now.

The shark was accidentally snagged by a fishing trawler at a depth of 2,300 feet in the waters off Portimao on the Algarve Coast.


A rare frilled shark is considered a "living fossil", because evidence of its existence dates back to at least 80 million years ago. The shark has six pair of gills which is frilly edges. The scientists named the creature as Chlamydoselachus anguineus for its gills - the frilled arrangement of 300 teeth, neatly lined in 25 rows.

Its jaw has more than 300 teeth neatly lined in 25 rows, which, according to professor Margarida Castro of the University of the Algarve, are specifically created to help it "to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges", The Portugal News reported.

According to the scientists, the long, slime, snake-like shark is "little known in terms of its biology or environment", because it lives at great depths in the Atlantic and off the coasts of Australia, New Zealand and Japan, BBC reported. The scientists further said that the rare and ancient creature might have inspired 19th-century tales of "sea serpents". But scientists were unable to find out why it outlived its Cretaceous Period contemporaries. Scientists only know that these are one of the creepiest creatures existing beneath the ocean surface. There are a lot of things to that are unknown about this rare and unique frilled shark.

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