January 29, 2007
From Original Article By
Earlier this month, amateur fisherman Haruo Kanbe stared out at sea in horror — a monster fish was swimming directly towards him. At first glance the creature snaking through the water looked like a giant eel. The cloudy eyes were especially striking. Triangular teeth flashed inside its open maw.
Normally, the prehistoric creatures dwell between 600 and 1,200 meters (between 1,969 and 3,937 feet) below the ocean surface. Until now, few people have had the opportunity to come face to face with a living specimen.
The frilled shark has hardly changed for 95 million years. That’s why it’s considered a “living fossil.” Unlike other types of shark that evolved later, the frilled shark has six gills on each side instead of five. The first pair of gills is coadunate with the underside of the neck; the protruding tissue gives the shark its name.
One of the creature’s most striking features is that both its upper and its lower jaw are equipped with fork-like, equi-sized teeth.The creature from the depths is one of the rarest fish in the world. Specimens occasionally show up in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. They feature on the Red List of Threatened Species compiled annually by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
Visit the Japanese Marine Park’s website to read the original press release and see more photos.