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Fishermen Catch Another Rare Goblin Shark?!

Mar 04, 2015 02:16 PM EST
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Fishermen have caught yet another rare goblin shark, this time off the coast of Australia.

Nature World News previously reported back in May how one of these same grotesque creatures was hauled up in the Gulf of Mexico, for only the second time ever in this region.

And now this shark, described as an "alien of the deep," has reared its ugly head once again.

The bizarre-looking shark was unintentionally caught by fishermen off the waters of Eden, New South Wales in January this year. The rare specimen, a juvenile male that measured 1.26 meters long, was caught in waters 656 feet (200 meters) deep.

The mysterious sea creature lives at the bottom of the ocean and has a distinctive fleshy snout and nail-like teeth, as well as a flabby pink body. It also has large snout packed with sensors that can detect nearby prey, such as fish, squid or crabs.

When it locks in on its target, the goblin shark can shoot its entire jaw mechanism forward to capture the creature with its razor-sharp teeth.

"These are amazing looking animals," Mark McGrouther, Australian Museum's fish collection manager, told the Agence France-Presse (AFP). "They are not encountered very often, so when they do it's a very special day."

Mike Kelly, the fisherman who caught the shark, on the other hand, told Merimbula News that he has caught about 12 goblin sharks in his career, noting that this most recent catch was a small one.

Goblin sharks, scientific name "Mitsukurina owstoni", are considered living fossils because they are thought to belong to a linage of sharks that dates as far back as 125 million years ago.

McGrouther said this was only the fourth goblin shark to be acquired by the Australian Museum in Sydney, with the first two collected in the 1980s. It will be kept there and undergo further research in the future.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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