Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

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Rarely seen 'living fossil' frilled shark caught off Algarve coast

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 08-11-2017 07:37:00 · 0 Comments

A frilled shark, a species that is often termed a ‘living fossil’ because of several ‘primitive’ features that have survived for millions of years, has been captured off the coast of Portugal’s Algarve region, the country’s meteorological and sea institute has announced.

Rarely seen 'living fossil' frilled shark caught off Algarve coast

 

The animal was a male, 1.5 metres in length, and was fished in August at a depth of 700 metres, the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) said in a statement.

 

Researchers from IPMA and the Centre for Maritime Sciences recorded the catching of a shark "with unusual features" by a commercial trawler, as part of an "initiative to minimise undesirable catches in European fisheries".

 

 

 

According to the statement, the species has "a long, slim body and a head that is reminiscent of a snake" and "its biology and ecology are little known".

 

The frilled shark is found across the Atlantic, including off the coast of Norway and in the waters of Scotland, Galicia in Spain, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, as well as in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, namely off Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It is rarely caught because it lives at great depths.

 

Fossils of the same species have been found that data back millions of years.

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Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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