A rare deep-water goblin shark has been caught in a trawl net off Merimbula on the NSW south coast by a local fisherman.
The shark, sometimes called the “dinosaur of the sea”, has an unusual jaw mechanism, a bit like the fictional extraterrestrials in the Aliens movie series.
As the jaws close, two ligaments are stretched which results in the jaws being thrust forward.
Here’s the new specimen arriving in Sydney in an icebox:
The shark has a long flattened snout, the lower side covered with pores which are the openings to a sensory system which enables the predator to sense the electric fields of its prey.
The new specimen, now at the Australian Museum in Sydney, is a juvenile male 1.26m in length.
Mike Kelly, the fisherman who caught the goblin shark, told the Merimbula News Weekly: “I’ve caught them before probably about 12 in my career but this was only a small one.” He caught this one in about 600m of water.
The Australian Museum’s Ichthyology Collection now contains four goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) specimens collected in Australian waters.