Rare 'dinosaur age' shark found in Portugal

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

The rare frill shark, said to be from the dinosaur era, was being caught along the Algarve coast in Portugal.

Researchers believe that the rare male fish dates back 80 million years to the 'age of the dinosaurs'.

The frilled shark has rarely been encountered alive, and thus poses no danger to humans, although scientists have accidentally cut themselves examining the species teeth.

However, unknowingly scientists unearthed one of the most ancient animals to have lived on the surface of this planet.

The frilled shark is considered as one of the few "living fossils" to exist today, which exists on a list together with the goblin shark and giant salamander, to name a few.

The shark caught this summer measured around five feet in length, but at their longest can be around six-and-a-half feet, IFL Science reported.

Scientists from Portugal's Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) have dubbed the catch a "living fossil", after using techniques to identify the animal that indicates the species dates back nearly 80 million years. Pretty much all other sharks have separate gills, but the frilled shark's first pair of gills stretch all the way across its throat. Another study of a Suruga Bay inhabitant showed that frilled sharks may also have the longest gestation period of any living creature, 42 months.

Meanwhile, the scientists stated that the shark looks like a long, slime, snake-like "little known in terms of its biology or environment" because it lives at great depths in the Atlantic and off the coasts of Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The gills of the shark has frilly, fluffy edges, but the cuddly factor ends abruptly there.

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