Monday, August 2, 2010

Goblin Shark

Once again, sorry about the post delay, it's been a really hectic day! (and just goes to show that I should go back to my old method of having back-up posts ready for days like this) I'm still in a sharky mood, so today is another personal favorite of mine, the Goblin Shark.

Image from National Geographic
Goblin Sharks are extremely rare, and only about 45 have ever been caught. That is because these interesting looking fellows prefer to live on the sea floor on outer continental shelves. The average water depth of those discovered was between about 900 and 3,000 feet. Goblin Sharks have been found off the coasts of South Africa, Portugal, Australia, and a handful of other places. The first Goblin Shark ever seen was found in Japan, and the man who discovered it called the creature Tenguzame, after Tengu, a goblin-like creature of myth.

As already stated, Goblin Sharks are rare and have had very little interaction with humans. We know next to nothing about their social behavior and reproductive habits, though dietary information is available. If you couldn't tell from the photograph, Goblin Sharks have a very large, protruding snout. This snout, also known as a rostrum, is electrosensitive, and helps the shark to detect prey in their dark habitats. They sit and wait, undetected, for potential meals to swim by, notice them, and close in. In regards to other anatomical features, Goblin Sharks have undeveloped lower caudal (tail) fins, flabby bodies, and are a grayish-pink color. Scientists believe their flabbiness allows them to float at a constant level in the water without the need to move.

Goblin Sharks are the only living members of the family Mitsukurinidae. Though they can grow to over 10 feet in length, they are not dangerous to humans since they live so deep down in the water.

2 comments:

  1. You forgot to add the most unique and scary thing about the Goblin Shark! They have this freaky ability to 'throw' their jaws forward when biting - like dentist dentures! It looks as if another head is popping out whenever he bites! I hope I don't find any stray Goblin sharks in Memphis, TN. Thank goodness, Missisipi river isn't that deep.

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  2. i did my report on goblin sharks and did u no that 25% of there body wight is their liver...yuck!

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