The frilled shark, scientifically known as Chlamydoselachus anguineus, is a species of shark belonging to the Chlamydoselachus genus, found mainly in the deep sea and distributed sporadically across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Despite living in the deep sea, it is considered a near-threatened species due to low reproduction rates and high commercial value. This post will discuss the characteristics, adaptation, and diet of this living fossil.
The frilled shark, or "living fossil," is a species of shark that belongs to the Chlamydoselachus genus and the Chlamydoselachidae family. It is primarily found in the deep sea, and its distribution is sporadic across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This species has some characteristics of "primitive" sharks, considered "living fossils" on the ocean floor during the time of the dinosaurs. They can reach a length of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) and have a dark brown body similar to an eel, but with six pairs of gill slits like prehistoric sharks. When moving and hunting, the frilled shark curls its body and moves forward in a flexible manner, similar to that of a giant sea snake.
Despite living in the deep sea, the frilled shark is considered a near-threatened species due to its low reproduction rates and high commercial value. It primarily inhabits deep water regions ranging from 50-200 meters (160-660 feet) in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is a living fossil that has survived for a long time on the ocean floor. The frilled shark is one of the oldest surviving ancient sharks, with an age of at least the late Cretaceous period (95 million years ago) and even possibly the end of the Jurassic period (150 million years ago).
Scientists previously believed that the frilled shark slithers through the water like an eel. However, according to the ReefQuest Center for Shark Research, its body cavity is elongated and contains a huge liver with low-density and hydrocarbon content, allowing the shark to move easily in the deep sea.
The frilled shark's diet mainly consists of squid, but it also eats other fish, including other shark species. Its mouth is located on the top of its head, not the bottom like most other sharks, and it has small three-pointed teeth in both jaws that are spaced quite far apart. Its jaw is very long, unlike the lower jaw of most sharks. The frilled shark is well adapted to living on the ocean floor, with a reduced skeletal system and a huge liver full of low-density lipids that allows it to maintain buoyancy in the water with ease.
To adapt to life in the deep sea, its bones are calcified, and its liver is full of low-density fats that enable it to maintain a low level of activity in the water. The frilled shark has a unique reproductive system, with females producing fewer eggs and having a longer gestation period than other shark species. As a result, it has a low reproductive rate and is slow to recover from population depletion caused by fishing.
The frilled shark is a living fossil that has survived for millions of years and is now considered a near-threatened species due to its low reproductive rates and high commercial value. Its unique characteristics, including its elongated body cavity, small three-pointed teeth, and reduced skeletal system, make it well adapted to life in the deep sea. The frilled shark's diet mainly consists of squid, but it also eats other fish, including other shark species. Its unique reproductive system and slow reproductive.