Shark Dating Back to 800 Million Years Found Swimming Offcoast of Portugal

Shark Dating Back to 800 Million Years Found Swimming Offcoast of Portugal

The shark is said to date back 80 million years and features a range of primitive features, such as 300 sharp teeth and a weakened vertebrae among other attributes.

Scientists working on the Algarve coast were in for a surprise when they caught a rare frilled shark earlier this week.

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.

Researchers from IPMA and the Centre for Maritime Sciences recorded the catching of a shark "with unusual features" by a commercial trawler, as part of an "initiative to minimise undesirable catches in European fisheries".

The scientists named this creature as "Chlamydoselachus anguineus" for its gills that are of the frilled arrangement of 300 teeth, lined neatly in 25 rows. In total, the shark has six pairs of gills that have "frilly" edges. In this case, the shark was caught at a depth of 700 metres. It has also been speculated that the frilled shark influenced 19th century sailors stories of sea serpents.

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.

The frilled shark has a remarkably simple anatomy, probably because of a lack of nutrients in its aquatic environment. Scientists only know that these are one of the creepiest creatures existing beneath the ocean surface.

Scientists believed it to be a living fossil with a body like a snake but the jaws of a terrifying sea predator.