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Goblin Shark Captured

May 6 2014, 4:56am CDT | by , in News | Other Stuff

Goblin Shark Captured in Mexican Gulf
David Shiffman @WhySharksMatter
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A scary-looking goblin shark was captured in the Mexican Gulf. It is a rare specimen and is indeed a horrific sight to behold.

Goblin shark was the very spectacle of fear and loathing. The goblin shark had a beak-like snout and razor-sharp teeth that jutted out of its mouth. Caught by a shrimp fisherman off the Gulf of Mexico, this strange creature had been brought up from the subterranean depths. 

It seemed almost to be a prehistoric specimen and had pink flesh and pin-like teeth in a row. Lifetime fisherman Carl Moore caught the 15 feet long monster along with a plethora of shrimps.

"I didn't even know what it was," Moore told The Houston Chronicle. "I didn't get the tape measure out, because that thing's got some wicked teeth, they could do some damage."  

He and his fellow fishermen threw it back into the ocean. Moore claimed that at first he was confused as to what genre this mysterious beast belonged to. He was especially scared witless by its dagger-like teeth. 

"As a whole we know very little about these animals — how old they get, how fast they grow, where their nurseries are," Carlson told Live Science.

However, he took pictures of the beast on his smart phone camera and later on showed them to the concerned authorities. That was when the creepy creature was finally identified. 

"My 3-year-old grandson, he just loves sharks so I've been taking pictures of every one we find, when I showed him this one he said, 'Wow, Pappa!'" Moore said.

Very little information is available regarding the goblin shark. Most such samples are found off the coast of Japan. This one was a female as was evident from the lack of claspers on its genitalia.

"This is great news," said John Carlson, shark expert at NOAA. "This is only the second confirmed sighting in the Gulf, the majority of specimens are found off Japan or in the Indian Ocean and around South Africa." 

Sharks are a pretty ancient species, but this variety is more of a recent offshoot and inhabits the deep seas. It was salvaged from a depth of up to 2000 feet. And as for its fearsome features, they are probably an adaptation to the environment in which it thrives. 

"The guys at NOAA said I'm probably one of only 10 people who've seen one of those alive," Moore said. "That's my ocean out there and anything in it concerns me..I know the value of trying to preserve things."

 

Goblin sharks have sensory equipment in their heads which allow them to pick up signals from other species. The bizarre shape of its head may have something to do with the dark and murky depths. 

The selfsame mechanism is seen in hammerhead sharks. The shark eats squid and fish which it dismembers into ribbons of flesh with its sharp teeth. Only two previous sightings of goblin sharks have occurred, one in 2000 and the other in the 1970s. 

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