Dating back from
According to the Portuguese news outlet, the researchers aboard the trawler were working on a European Union project aiming to “minimize unwanted catches in commercial fishing” when they fished out the mysterious shark by chance in the waters near Portimao, Algarve.The captured frilled shark — a male, measuring 4.9 feet in length — was fished in August by a net set up at 2,300 feet below the surface, said researchers at the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and the Atmosphere.However, Lutz and his team of researchers are only just beginning to fully examine their unique find.“It’s a complete mystery where this individual came from, and why nobody’s ever found a tooth like this somewhere before," Lutz said in an interview with Research Gate, where the report was published.The current scientific consensus proposes that modern humans evolved out of east Africa somewhere between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago, before dispersing around the world as recently as 70,000 years ago.
The fossilized remains of what are believed to be great ape teeth, an upper right first molar and an upper left canine, were found a little over a year ago near the town of Eppelsheim in southwestern Germany in sediments that date back 10 million years. It actually looks like a new excellent tooth; however, it’s no longer white.
However, Secluded in the vast depths of the Atlantic and the Pacific, frilled sharks are seldom seen in their natural habitat and have been only occasionally spotted off the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
This was the case in 2007, when a Japanese fisherman stumbled upon a live specimen — a 5.2-foot-long female which survived for just a few short hours, after being found dying at the surface.
Frilled sharks are also said to have inspired sailors’ famous tales of “sea serpents,” on account of their snake-like movements in the water. According to a Japanese study, the most likely explanation for the frilled shark’s “deceptively simple and poorly calcified” skeleton is the scarcity of nutrients found in the deep-sea habitat in which the species resides.
It is also probably the reason why this prehistoric shark rarely grows longer than 6.5 feet.