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Frilled Shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus)

Frilled Shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus)

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Family: Chlamydoselachidae
Genus: Chlamydoselachus
Species: anguineus
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.

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