“Living Fossil” Frilled Sharks

The deep sea is terrifying and fascinating. Mostly because, I think, the environment is so completely different from ones familiar to us that creatures evolved for it would seem terrifying, monstrously fascinating for us. Not too different from the mentality that spurred European colonial endeavours globally – and the extermination of many of them, I might mention, in the context of marine preservation – before contemporary cultural modernity struck and we embraced ‘diversity’ warmly (at least in theory).This creature, called a frilled shark because of the six slits for gills on either side of its face, boasts three hundreed needle-sharp teeth, arranged in 25 rows. Apparently, it can slither and lunge like eels, and because of its snakelike-flexible jaws, swallow its prey whole.

Coutesy: Intact Nature
Coutesy: Intact Nature

Imagine now, with the arctic melts, the seas flooding inhabited lands, and bringing deep-sea hunters closer to our current homes. Shudder shudder. [I enjoy imagining sci-fi dystopias, yes.]

The one that was caught off Australia. Courtesy: News Station 3AW.
Courtesy: News Station 3AW.


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