'Sea monster' pulled from waters off Australia — frilled shark

Posted Jan 21, 2015 by Karen Graham
The creature looks like the stuff of nightmares, a living fossil rising out of the sea, its mouth a chewing machine of 300 teeth set in 25 rows. It is the rarely seen frilled shark.
Looking like a living fossil  the frilled shark has long  terminally positioned jaws.
Looking like a living fossil, the frilled shark has long, terminally positioned jaws.
The "living fossil" was hauled in by a fishing trawler off the coast of Southeastern Victoria, Australia last month, near Lakes Entrance in the state's Gippsland region. South East Trawl Fishing Association spokesman Simon Boag this was the first time in local living memory a frilled shark had been sighted, reported The Telegraph.
“We couldn’t find a fisherman who had ever seen one before. … It looks prehistoric, it looks like it’s from another time.” added Boag.
Mashable is reporting that Fishing trawler skipper David Guillot will remember the day he caught the shark for the rest of his life. "I've been at sea for 30 years, and I've never seen a shark look like that," Guillot told radio station 3AW on Wednesday. "It was like a large eel, probably 1.5 metres long (4.9 feet), and the body was quite different to any other shark I'd ever seen."
"The head on it was like something out of a horror movie. It was quite horrific looking ... It was quite scary actually," he added.
Screen grab from video describing frilled sharks.
Screen grab from video describing frilled sharks.
The frilled shark gets its name for the six pairs of gill slits near its neck. With a long eel-like body and a tail reminding us of its shark-like origins, the creature, found in waters less than 1,200 meters deep, bends its body and lunges to capture its prey. With a mouth sporting 300 teeth in 25 rows, there is little chance of anything getting free of its grasp.
While not as big as the great white shark, which can grow to 21-feet in length, the frilled shark only grows to around six feet in length, it beats the great white in the dental department. Great white sharks have 50 teeth. Frilled sharks have the great white beat when it comes to fossil age, too. Frilled sharks are 80 million years old while great whites date back to only 16 million years.
The incredible sea creature was offered to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia's national science body, but they declined because they already had a specimen. They did confirm the catch as being a frilled shark.