Although this animal has a wide geographic distribution, notably throughout the Atlantic, “it is not very often captured due to the depths that it lives”.
They were Portuguese investigators who caught “a shark with unusual characteristics” in August, on the Algarve coast. This animal is a male of the snake-shark species (Chlamydoselachus anguineus), about 1.5 meters tall, the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) revealed this week.
The snake shark is also a species of the Chlamydoselachidae family.
This species, which was considered extinct, is about two meters long and inhabits waters with depths ranging from 600 to 1000 meters. In terms of fishing, it has a very small economic importance.
This shark is one of the oldest creatures ever found alive today and fossils of this animal have been found around 80 million years ago.
“This shark, a true living fossil, has a long, slender body and a snake-like head. It also has a very particular dentition, its biology and ecology are little known,” the IPMA said in a statement.
According to the communiqué, despite having a wide geographic distribution, across the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, “it is not very often captured because of the depths it lives on”.
This specimen was captured at 700 meters depth.
The researchers from the IPMA and the Center for Marine Sciences and the University of the Algarve were on board a commercial trawler under the MINOUW project – “Initiative to minimize catches of unwanted catches in European fisheries”.
A female specimen was filmed on January 24, 2007 in a rare appearance in shallow water off the coast of Japan, near the city of Shizuoka. However, the specimen was in poor physical condition and died a few hours after being collected.
On 21 January 2015, a second specimen was also caught, this time by a fisherman in the waters of Victoria, Australia.
Already had been picked up a copy in the Algarve, on August 18, 2016, at a depth of 1200 meters.