Super Rare (And Horrifying) "Living Fossil" Shark Caught In Australia

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Super Rare (And Horrifying) "Living Fossil" Shark Caught In Australia

Why is this super creepy shark important to science? Because its ancestry dates back 80 million years.

If you're a fisherman, it's presumably very easy to stumble across strange, bizarre, and exiting objects. But I suspect even this creature caught in Victorian waters off the Australian coast would give the most experienced fisherman pause. While it may look like an eel, this is actually a two-meter long frilled shark that's rarely seen in Australia. It's also fairly significant to the scientific community, thanks to an ancestry that can be traced back almost 80 million years.

"We couldn't find a fisherman who had ever seen one before," Simon Boag of the South East Trawl Fishing Association explained, when asked about the find. "It does look 80 million years old. It looks prehistoric, it looks like it's from another time!"

The frilled shark was caught in a fishing trawler near Lakes Entrance, located in Victoria's Gippsland region. While it's the first time seen in living memory among fisherman, scientists are familiar with it as one of two remaining descendants of an ancient aquatic family. But even as an intriguing "living fossil" it's hard not to feel a little horrified while studying it - a peek into its mouth reveals 300 teeth spaced across 26 distinct rows.

"Once you're in that mouth, you're not coming out," Boag continued. "Good for dentists, but it is a freaky thing. I don't think you would want to show it to little children before they went to bed."

Anyone else fishing in Australia probably doesn't need to worry about encountering a frilled shark themselves. All waters deeper than 700 meters are closed to trawling, while the sharks keep to waters 1500-1200 meters deep. This particular shark has been purchased by Griffith's Sea Shell Museum and will be put on display in two to three weeks.

"This guy was just unlucky," Boag said.

Source: ABC

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It's gums look positively mangled- is that a result of decompression for a deep sea creature? Or has it had teeth removed?

EDIT: oh, I see the other pics, and the teeth do seem to be there... still, it looks like intense bleeding as well.

So Australia is Catachan?

OT: By the Emperor that thing is ugly! I can only picture the fishermen's reactions to pulling that thing up out of the water.

the December King:
It's gums look positively mangled- is that a result of decompression for a deep sea creature?

I'd hazard a guess it was sick or diseased, these sharks only ever turn up in human populated waters when they're too weak to resist the current. The last one that turned up near Japan was practically dead by the time it encountered a diver.

Jesus that thing looks like it came straight out of a video game all you need to do is make it 30x bigger and you got a boss level enemy

It looks like a demon arm from The Darkness video game adaptation. "Feeeeeeeeeed me their HEARTS JAcky!"

Australia, why oh why must you insist on proving the stereotype that you're the home of monsters and mythical beasts all the time? Sheesh, if it continues like this we'll see a Bigfoot turn up at one point.

the December King:
It's gums look positively mangled- is that a result of decompression for a deep sea creature? Or has it had teeth removed?

No no, those are its teeth.

Dead Metal:
It looks like a demon arm from The Darkness video game adaptation. "Feeeeeeeeeed me their HEARTS JAcky!"

In a way, but these even more look like that:

image
Aren't deep sea creatures fun?

For a moment I thought it was a Graboid with eyes but it lacks the multiple mouth tongues.

Also still not as ugly as a Goblin Shark.

Cowabungaa:
Australia, why oh why must you insist on proving the stereotype that you're the home of monsters and mythical beasts all the time? Sheesh, if it continues like this we'll see a Bigfoot turn up at one point.

the December King:
It's gums look positively mangled- is that a result of decompression for a deep sea creature? Or has it had teeth removed?

No no, those are its teeth.

I see them now, thanks. Although it still looks like there is some ruptured flesh there around the gums... Look at the rows of them! Awesome.

And since you mentioned it: The Yowie- Australia's Bigfoot. Love the Aussies.

You want a real weird looking old shark, look up Helicoprion.

image

Not even science gets it.

Wow, it's like finding Coelacanths all over agai-26 Fucking Rows of Teeth?!

Christ, that's the sort of thing you couldn't give to an alien in a movie/game/book because people would say it's too unrealistic/over-the-top.

Aeshi:
Wow, it's like finding Coelacanths all over agai-26 Fucking Rows of Teeth?!

Christ, that's the sort of thing you couldn't give to an alien in a movie/game/book because people would say it's too unrealistic/over-the-top.

When I read that, my reaction went from "Ooh, cool ancient sea life found to day" to "Holy Jesus, that's some straight up Lovecraftian shit right there!". Something I'd come across in the Cthulhu mythos. 300 teeth in a mouth that small (or at least it looks fairly small), that's like a living blender.

your daily reminder that mother nature is batshit insane

"Good for dentists, but it is a freaky thing. I don't think you would want to show it to little children before they went to bed."

If an Australian, let alone one still residing in a place where you stand a chance of having scary wildlife murder the shit out of you with every step you take, says an animal is freaky, then I think its a pretty good time to sign up for that Mars colonization project.

But really, that's a ton of teeth, finding it hard to imagine the result of having that thing take a nibble at you while you're swimming, heck the idea that such a thing could be slithering around in the water you're currently taking a nice dive in is pretty unnerving.

Cowabungaa:
Australia, why oh why must you insist on proving the stereotype that you're the home of monsters and mythical beasts all the time? Sheesh, if it continues like this we'll see a Bigfoot turn up at one point.

the December King:
It's gums look positively mangled- is that a result of decompression for a deep sea creature? Or has it had teeth removed?

No no, those are its teeth.

Dead Metal:
It looks like a demon arm from The Darkness video game adaptation. "Feeeeeeeeeed me their HEARTS JAcky!"

In a way, but these even more look like that:

image
Aren't deep sea creatures fun?

Yeah they do, and yes they are. It's a good thing the deep sea creatures haven't figured out how to breath on land yet, or survive on our level XD

" a peek into its mouth reveals 300 teeth"
They look more like microscopic bumps than serious fangs... in other words: 300 or 6000; if they are extremely small such teeth are no more scary than the sandpaper they resemble!

Four 5 cm fans thrump those 300 teeth pretty much every day of the week, imho!

All these things are designed to do is prevent a prey from leaving the mouth; they do not cut, tear or puncture, they just are bent inwards and don't do any real damage. A creature with such teeth swallows it's prey whole...

Hey look it's Kingseeker Frampt!

PunkRex:
You want a real weird looking old shark, look up Helicoprion.

image

Not even science gets it.

I bet its lower jaw rotates like a buzz saw. It HAS to.

PunkRex:
You want a real weird looking old shark, look up Helicoprion.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/43/Helicoprion_bessonovi1DB.jpg/1024px-Helicoprion_bessonovi1DB.jpg
Not even science gets it.

Thats a outdated picture of the creature, scientist now believe the circular teeth formation in further back in the mouth

OT: its still rather exciting the know that even now we are finding new fossils and creatures, and on the coast of my country i mean wow, the stuff thats trying to kill us here now must be childs play compared to how it was thousands of years ago. Australias gone soft over time, i bet in another thousand years our wildlife will only be slightly above the deadliness of the rest of the worlds wildlife.

Lakes Entrance, represent! I used to go swimming there as a kid.

njrk97:

Thats a outdated picture of the creature, scientist now believe the circular teeth formation in further back in the mouth

OT: its still rather exciting the know that even now we are finding new fossils and creatures, and on the coast of my country i mean wow, the stuff thats trying to kill us here now must be childs play compared to how it was thousands of years ago. Australias gone soft over time, i bet in another thousand years our wildlife will only be slightly above the deadliness of the rest of the worlds wildlife.

That would make more sense, having that thing jutting out seems like it wouldn't be of much use.

strange, bizarre, and exiting objects

How many exiting objects are there besides, you know, door ways?

Holy shit! Pretty sure that fucker jumped out of John Hurt's chest.

This kind of shit is why I think that if you dive deep enough, you come out into Hell.

That thing makes me think of a go'ould symbiont in Stargate, cool :-)

...
... ...

Well.
It looks like I'm not going swimming in the ocean ever again.

DoctorM:

How many exiting objects are there besides, you know, door ways?

My butt. That is, my butt is an object though which other objects exit. And those are not exciting objects exiting. My butt also goes through doorways.

Gaahh!! That thing is very creepy.

It also proves that Mother Nature was high back then.

Fanghawk:
Why is this super creepy shark important to science? Because its ancestry dates back 80 million years.

Unlike every other living thing on the planet, whose ancestry dates back around 3.5 billion years.

Adding this to the very long list of things not to get bitten by.

Prisoner Zero has escaped!
image
Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence or the human residence will be incinerated!

And this is why I got into Marine Biology, cause the crazy things that you can find in the ocean.

Guess the shark got freaked out by Australia's decision to unprotect some sharks, but didn't realize it would probably be okay.

Remus:
Prisoner Zero has escaped!
image
Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence or the human residence will be incinerated!

Where's The Doctor when you need him?

Of course it was found near Australia.

see this is why we all need the sun to grow strong and proper looking; animals from the abyssal plains are terrifyingly hideous.

Yeah. I'm not going into the ocean again. Ever.

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