It's not everyday you see a prehistoric creature swimming around in the oceans, but looks like it was a lucky day for Portugese scientists, who caught a "shark from the age of the dinosaurs" off the Algarve coast.
Professor Margarida Castro from the University of the Algarve said that the frilled shark gets its name from the frilled arrangement of its 300 triangular-shaped, needle-sharp teeth in 25 rows that allows it to trap other sharks, fish, and squid in sudden lunges.
An ancient and rare frilled shark has been found alive off the coast of Portugal, puzzling researchers over its survival.
Researchers were working on a project related to minimizing excessive commercial fishing when they stumbled upon the freakish creature.
The male shark, which measured 1.5m, was caught near the resort of Portimao. Termed as the pre-historic shark, the creature dates back to 80 million years making it the oldest species on the planet.
This is mostly due to the fact that it lives at depths that are rarely ventured to by humans.
According to researchers, having extra grills, eyes on the side of heads and spineless backfins are some of the specialities of this oldest group of sharks. Scientists, therefore, have not been able to study it in research laboratories and there is also little footage of the primeval shark in its natural habitat.
The frilled shark's snake-like movements and elongated, eel-like body is said to have inspired sailors' stories of sea serpents, after Samuel Garman first studied the shark in 1884. The frilled shark has inhabited the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.