Dubbed as the “ALIEN OF THE DEEP” for its terrifying appearance, the Goblin Shark was caught by fishermen in Green Cape, south of Eden on the New South Wales coast, at a depth of about 200 metres (656 feet) and delivered to a local aquarium which kept it in excellent condition for the museum.
The oh-so bizarre creature lives at the bottom of the ocean and has a distinctive fleshy snout and nail-like teeth – as well as a flabby pink body. The bottom of its long snout is covered in pores. Those lead to the “ampullae of Lorenzini” — electroreceptors that sense electric fields in the water. Once it finds a prey (like a crab, fish or octopus), it spears them with its prickly teeth.
It was a juvenile, ugly, male goblin shark measuring at around 12 feet. It may be FRIGHTENING unlike the shimmering, glowing blue shark but goblin sharks are truly awesome creatures. That is why, the Australian Museum is understandably very excited to have the opportunity to showcase such a rare specimen.
Museum ichthyology collection manager Mark McGrouther had only ever seen three goblin sharks before this acquisition.
They are not encountered terribly often, and when they do come here it’s a very special day,” he said.
The shark is often considered a living fossil as it is the only surviving member of the prehistoric Mitsukurinidae shark family which stretches back 125 million years.
The museum said the body of the shark, which had died by the time it was given to the local aquarium, had nonetheless been well kept and would be an asset to its collection.
It’s pretty impressive, it’s not hideous it’s beautiful,” said the Australian Museum’s fish collection manager Mark McGrouther, who described its teeth as looking like “little daggers“.
The animal’s jaw mechanism, which shoots forward when it detects prey and then retracts under its fleshy, spade-shaped snout, fascinates Mr McGrouther.
I suspect because it has got soft, flabby musculature, it doesn’t need much energy … so it will swim slowly over the bottom just using its snout like a metal detector. It will spear it with those sharp pointed teeth and then just wolf it down whole.” he told AFP news agency.
via NBC News