Frilled Shark
Frilled Shark
The frilled shark, Chlamydoselachus anguineus, is a primitive shark species, of the family Chlamydoselachidae in the order Hexanchiformes. The Southern African frilled shark is a proposed new species from the Southern African range. These two species are very different from the other hexanchiform sharks, and it has recently been proposed that the two frilled sharks should be given their own order: Chlamydoselachiformes. Additional extinct types are known from fossil teeth; thought to be extinct itself, it was only discovered in Japanese waters in the 19th century. On January 21, 2007, a specimen was found alive off the coast of Japan near the Awashima Marine Park in Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo. The shark was captured but, being in poor health, died shortly afterwards.

Superficially, the frilled shark resembles a dark brown or grey eel, but the six gill slits identify it as a shark. The tissue of the gill slits protrudes somewhat, thus inspiring the common name. Its dorsal fin is small, anal fin large, and the caudal fin (tail fin) is highly asymmetric, the dorsal part almost unnoticeable. Its teeth are small, tricuspid, and very sharp. It has been recorded at up to 2 m in length.

Distribution is worldwide, but they are very rarely found in shallow water. They have been reported in all oceans but are mainly found near Norway, South Africa, New Zealand, and Chile. The sharks are usually found at depths of between 50 m and 1,500 m. They typically eat squid, other sharks, and deepwater bony fish. The frilled shark is sometimes referred to as a living fossil partially because the species has changed little since pre-historic times.
Reproduction is not well understood, but like many other sharks they bear live young (ovoviviparous), with litter sizes of 2 to 12 pups. Compagno states "They are pregnant for a long time, probably one to two years".

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uglyprehisshark.jpg Ugly Prehistoric Shark image by stevetures
Frilled Shark

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting animal, nice information as well.


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