Wild Fact #380 – Is This the Loch Ness Monster? – Frilled Shark
Reports of Loch Ness Monster sightings are most likely going to increase after today’s Wild Fact. Yes, the Frilled Shark has often been referred to as a “Real Life Loch Ness Monster” or simply a “Sea Serpent” but the truth is, they are just a really old and odd looking shark. In fact, they are so old that they have also be referred to as “living fossils”. How old? Researchers believe the Frilled Shark first existed about 95 to 150 million years ago. This would mean the Frilled Shark most likely had play dates with the Dinosaurs! So are you excited to go and find one of these “living fossils” or what?
The Loch Ness Monster?
Although this particular shark is rather uncommon there have been scattered reports of their existence all around the world. Some places they have been found include, the Eastern Atlantic around Norway, Ireland and Scotland (can you say Loch Ness Monster?), the western Pacific around Japan and Australia and in the Eastern Pacific around California and Hawaii. These reports are uncommon simply because this crazy old Sea Serpent prefers to stay about 500 to 1000 meters (1640 – 3280 feet) below the surface. Personally, I would prefer these creepy looking sharks to be at these depths than hanging around the wading areas at the beach.
One Mean Looking Shark
We can’t have a Wild Fact about the Frilled Shark and not mention their physical appearance. They basically have the body of an eel but their head, with 300 trident-shaped teeth, are definitely all shark. Just behind all those teeth are a set of 6 “Frilled” gills, which obviously leads to the common name of this incredibly bizarre shark. The way the fins are organized on this shark leads to a odd looking tail, which has been compared to the wings of a throwing dart. I think the best way to fully appreciate the appearance of the Frilled Shark is to watch a short video about them.
Absolutely amazing, aren’t they?
Frilled Shark Fast Fact
The Frilled Shark may have one of the longest gestation periods in the world. Believe it or not, researchers think that the Frilled Shark as a gestation period between three and three and a half years! Could you imagine being pregnant for 3.5 years? I personally can’t imagine being pregnant for 9 months, let along over 3 years. I guess we need to be thankful that we didn’t evolve from the Frilled Shark.
I hope you enjoyed today’s lesson on a living fossil. Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow for another fun and exciting Wild Fact.