A rare species of shark, considered to be a ‘living dinosaur’, has been caught off the coast of Victoria, Australia to the shock and awe of local fisherman.
The species if known as a goblin shark and is rarely seen as they typically reside in waters near the ocean floor around the 4000 feet deep.
It’s also known as the ‘vampire shark’, as they dislike sunlight and prefer the darkness of the ocean floor.
Although, this small specimen was captured in a net by fishermen, Lochlainn Kelly and his father Mike, just 2000 feet below the water’s surface. The creature was caught south east of Green Cape off the coast of Victoria, and was eagerly brought to shore at Merimbula on the far South Coast of New South Wales.
The creepy critter has a bloated pink belly, grey fins, a pointy nose, and a row of short sharp teeth.
”I wasn’t freaked out, if anything I was pretty excited. I’ve seen photos of them before but I’ve never seen one before,” 22-year-old Lochlainn told the Sydney Morning Herald.
In Merimbula, the Wharf Aquarium curator Michael McMaster and Alan Scrymgeour from the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Center studied the creature and were surprised by the discovery.
The goblin shark is the last known species of Mitsukurinidae, a family of sharks from 125 million years ago. They determined that the specimen was two to three years old as it is relatively small at just 4 feet in length. A fully grown goblin shark is between nine and ten feet long.
”Their teeth are often found in underwater electrical cables,” Mr. McMaster told the Sydney Morning Herald. “A lot of fishermen have been saying that the currents are very different this year,” he added, which might have something to do with how this shark found its way into the net.
The shark is set to be sent from Wharf Aquarium to the Australian Museum in Sydney for display.