The Frilled Shark: Unique Creatures Of The Deep Sea

The frilled shark is a living species belonging to the family Chlamydoselachidae and may be found in the ocean depths of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Although the frilled shark has been seen at depths greater than 5,000 feet below the surface, sightings of this species are typically rare at depths higher than 4,000 feet below the surface.

Frilled sharks are reported to inhabit depths of between 160 to 660 feet in Suruga Bay in Japan, the shallowest known habitat for this shark species. Frilled sharks are considered to be living fossils by marine archaeologists and scientists because they possess primitive characteristics.

In 1880 in Japan, German ichthyologist Ludwig Doderlein was the first person to formally and scientifically identify the species.

A detailed explanation of the body

The frilled shark has a body that is either gray or brown and is elongated. Its skin is rough and covered with denticles and has a frilled pattern. Its pelvic, dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are positioned near the back of its body, while its pectoral fins are located near the head, on both sides of the torso.

Pectoral fins are found on both sides of the torso.

The frilled shark’s caudal fin is longer than most other sharks’ caudal fins and looks like the wings on darts. An enormous mouth dominates its extensive, broad, and flat head with 25 rows of sharp, backward-pointing teeth for 300 teeth.

The frilled shark has gill slits that are so long that they give the appearance of a fish that has been cut open on its side. This is because the slits are so lengthy. The frilled shark possesses six pairs of gill slits, unlike most shark species, which have just five pairs.

Habitat and geographic dispersion

The frilled shark is most likely found in deep waters, namely those located over the outer continental shelf and the upper continental slope. They are found throughout the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans; however, their distribution is inconsistent.

The shark has been spotted in Suruga Bay, Japan, where it is believed to live at depths ranging from 160 to 660 feet. You may also find the frilled shark off the coasts of South Africa, New Zealand, Tasmania, New South Wales, Hawaii, northern Chile, and Southern California.

Researchers and marine biologists investigate the fish to establish whether the species is resident in a specific location or migrates at different times of the year.


However, because of its long jaws, the frilled shark cannot administer a powerful bite as other sharks can because it can only ingest vast amounts of food.

Most individual frilled sharks that are caught have just a tiny quantity of undigested food in their stomach, indicating either a rapid rate of digestion or long intervals between meals.

Generally, the frilled shark consumes other types of sharks, bony fish, and cephalopods for food. The average speed of this species’ swim is slower than most other shark species, allowing it to take advantage of more vulnerable prey.

In some circumstances, the frilled shark will lie still on the bottom of the water and wait for its prey to approach before making its move.

Interactions With Other People

Because the frilled shark lives in such a remote environment, little is known about it. In general, it does not provide any immediate risk to people; nonetheless, it can inflict a lethal bite if provoked.

The shark is sometimes captured and trapped accidentally by deepwater trawls, longlines, and gillnets. Japanese fisherman in Suruga Bay considers the species a nuisance because it ruins nets meant for gamefish and sea bream.

Occasionally, the shark is mistakenly trapped and caught. Humans do not often consume frilled sharks, but their carcasses are often ground up and used as fish meals.

Because of its poor reproduction rate and the invasion of commercial fishing on its habitat, New Zealand considers the shark an “At-Risk” species when it comes to conservation efforts.

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