In Lakes Entrance (a tourist resort and fishing port in eastern Victoria), a highly unusual shark was spotted. It is called the frilled shark. While it was already known to exist, David Guillot bumped into a live one in Lakes Entrance. Its face looks like something out of Jurassic Park. It was rightfully dubbed a ‘living fossil’.
Notice that distinctive dinosaur-like facial structure it has? It is a spitting image of the prehistoric creatures in Jurassic Park. That’s why it is so shocking. It is one of (if not the only) creature that matches the renditions of dinosaur faces. Until now, we could only guess how dinosaurs looked based on their bone structure.
Unlike other sharks, the frilled shark has an eel-like body which enables it to bend and lunge at its prey like a snake. It then sinks its 300 needle-shaped teeth into them so they can’t escape. This creature lives in the dark depths of the ocean (just above the deep sea, which starts at depths below 1,800 m) where there is so little light, that there is virtually no visibility. These ocean depths are rarely explored (i’m sure you can guess why), hence the rare sightings of the odd creatures that occupy this area, such as the rarely spotted Anglerfish which lures its prey by dangling a light in front of its mouth.
According to the SETFIA website:
‘It is one of two remaining species of this ancient family which dates back 80 million years.
It has a wide but patchy distribution in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on the outer and upper continental slope, generally near the bottom, though there is evidence of substantial upward movements. It has been caught as deep as 1,570m but is uncommon below 1,200m.’