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Frilled Shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus)
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Taxonomic name: Chlamydoselachus anguineus
This is one of the most bizarre shark species. It's species
name, anguineus, means "eel-like", referring to
the long, slender, eel-like body which is highly flexible.
It may possibly be able to burrow into crevices in deep reefs
in search of prey although no one has observed any hunting.
The tail is long and slender with other body fins being relatively
small. There is a single dorsal fin, pelvic and anal fins.
The head is large with medium sized eyes and a very large
mouth able to open very wide. The teeth are tri-cuspid, meaning
that they have three points. Since the teeth are sharp and
slender they are best suited for gripping and holding prey
so it is assumed that the feed on soft animals, such as squid,
although stomach contents have also shown it to eat other
shark species. The large mouth which is able to be opened
very wide and finely pointed teeth indicate that it swallows
it's prey whole.
Frilled sharks are found in all major oceans, mostly in temperate
regions, in depths from 120-1500m. Their common name comes
from the large gill slits which are softly feathered on the
outer edges and which also almost entirely encircle the head.
They are born at 40-60cm long and grow to about 2m long.
Teeth from extinct species are found in the fossil record.