Video: Extremely rare and strange-looking goblin shark dissected by researchers in Australia

Could this be the ugliest sea creature ever discovered?

Jack Simpson
Tuesday 03 March 2015 16:30
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The Australian Museum has only been able to study four goblin shark carcasses in the past
The Australian Museum has only been able to study four goblin shark carcasses in the past

This video shows the dissection of the rarest and most distinctive looking sharks ever to have been discovered.

Dubbed the “alien of the deep”, the footage shows Mark McGrouther, the Head of Fish Collection at the Australian Museum, studying the dead goblin shark, which was caught by a commercial fisherman off the coast of Eden, New South Wales in January.

Little is known about the goblin shark and the latest discover is only the fourth ever to be analysed by scientists at the museum.

What is known about these sharks is that they live deep down in the ocean depths, up to about 900 metres, and are rarely caught by humans.

Its distinctive long snout is covered in pores that can pick up electric pulses from crabs, squids and other potential prey.

The shark goblin shark, scientific name "Mitsukurina owstoni", is known to have lived on the planet for millions of years, with fossils for the animals being discovered that dated as far back as 125 million years ago.

The specimen caught in January is believed to be a male and measured 4ft 13in in length.

The shark will now be kept at the museum, with further research to be carried out in the future.

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