Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Have You Seen the Frilled Shark?

The frilled shark is a marine creature that has not been seen in its natural habitat until August 27, 2004. These sharks are rarely seen in the wild since they do not come to the surface waters often. They live in the deep ocean and are sometimes found by fisheries in their deep sea catches. Since there have been very few encounters with the frilled sharks not everything is known about them.

This rare shark gets its name from its frilly gills, which are different from other shark gills. They also have six or seven gill slits which are more than what modern sharks have today. The differences between the frilled shark and modern sharks are probably due to the theory that the frilled shark has not evolved for thousands of years. This means that it will most likely have primitive features compared to those of modern day sharks. Another difference between the frilled shark and modern sharks is that the body of the frilled shark is eel-like and they have a large head. The head is equipped with a mouth that is set on its front end, instead of on its underside like most sharks. They also have an open lateral line system in which the receptor hairs are exposed to the sea water directly which may be a less developed form of the lateral line system used in present day sharks. There are many more differences recorded between the frilled shark and modern sharks.

This frilled shark is a Near Threatened species, and there are only two different known species; Chlamydoselachus africana and Chlamydoselachus anguineus. They have been normally found off the South Africa, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia but not in high numbers. Since there has not been in depth research conducted on these ancient species it would be beneficial to work on increasing their populations to prevent extinction. They could lead to information on the evolution of sharks and this would help our understanding on how more advanced structures of sharks developed over the years. The frilled shark is a very interesting marine creature because it did not come to the general public’s attention until 2004 and later when they were actually seen in their natural habitat. It is interesting that an ancient creature like this has evaded being seen by people for so long.


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  2. This is interesting to think that humans have just discovered this animal. Reading this makes me wonder how many more primitive species there are yet to be found! After reading this I found yet more information. If this interests you hope this helps. Here is the link to another website with similar information on finding of primitive species in the Great Barrier Reef.


  3. This is so crazy. They live off squid, fish, and other sharks. The gills that they have a so weird looking but amazing compared to other sharks that are alive today. I heard that these prehistoric sharks are usually found dead in fisherman's nests but usually never alive. Here is one video that shows one swimming through the water. I found it to be so interesting how they look and swim differently then some sharks today. SO AMAZING-the living fossil!