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

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

It was captured at a depth of 2,300 ft off the resort of Portimao in Portugal.

According to, the frilled shark, aka the "living fossil", is one of the least seen sharks because of the depths in which it lives.

Scientists from Portugal's Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) have dubbed the catch a "living fossil", after using techniques to identify the animal that indicates the species dates back nearly 80 million years. Its sharp teeth and flexible jaw suggest it be the inspiration behind the mythological "sea serpent".

The rare frilled shark was caught overseas a trawler at a depth of 700m off the coast of Portugal and spans five ft in length.

Little is known about the shark, which has a long, snake-like body, and circular arrangement of 300 teeth.

The frilled shark is found across the Atlantic, including off the coast of Norway and in the waters of Scotland, Galicia in Spain, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, as well as in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, namely off Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

An even harder-to-spot cousin of Chlamydoselachus anguineus is Megachasma pelagios - or the megamouth shark - of which there have only been 63 confirmed sightings.

The fantastic discovery occurred while a group of scientists were working on a project to "minimise unwanted catches in commercial fishing".

It aims to develop and promote fishing technologies and practices that reduce unwanted catches, with the ambitious goal of completely eliminating discarded catches from European fisheries.

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