The rare creature is strange-looking and biologists describe it as being the “alien of the deep”.
The goblin shark looks like a prehistoric creature and lives on the bottom of the seas. Not many details are known about their behavior and how they live.
The museum officials said that the shark was already dead when it was brought to them, but is nonetheless an important asset to the museum.
Mark McGrouther, manager of the fish collection department at the Australian Museum, commented that the goblin shark is very impressive and it’s a very beautiful creature, with long, sharp teeth like daggers.
McGrouther explained that this particular species of shark can be encountered very rarely and are seldom captured.
He said that this is the fourth goblin shark that was brought to the museum in Sydney; the other ones were acquired in the 1980s.
The most recent goblin shark was found by a fisherman in January, near Eden, off the southeast coast of Australia. The shark was found at a depth of more than 200 meters and was brought to a local aquarium before the museum acquired it. The aquarium kept the shark in excellent condition.
McGrouther said that he was very excited to study the shark, which lives in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The shark’s scientific name is Mitsukurina owstoni, and is believed to be a living fossil that goes back approximately 125 million years.
The animal has a fascinating jaw mechanism, McGrouther explained. When the shark senses the prey, the jaw shoots forward, catches the prey and retracts under its snout.
Because of its soft, flabby body, the shark doesn’t need much energy to capture its prey, so it swims slowly on the bottom of the seas and uses its snout to detect food.
The shark spears its prey with its sharp teeth and then swallows it whole.
The newly found goblin shark specimen will be kept for genetic testing and will be preserved by the museum.
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