Rarely-seen ‘prehistoric’ shark caught in Atlantic Ocean

(WHDH) – Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

It’s rare to spot the frilled shark, which has a shark’s head on what looks like a snake’s body. Now researchers are able to get a closer look after a one of the mysterious creatures was recently caught off the coast of Portugal, Fox News reports.

The animal, measuring 4 feet 9 inches long, belongs to a species that dates back 80 million years to the Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Researchers captured the frilled shark by hauling it out of the water at a depth of 2,300 feet below the surface.

According to the report, the shark’s usual habitat is fairly deep in the waters near the outer continental shelf and upper to middle continental slopes, which is why it has been seldom seen alive.

The animal was captured on film off the coast of Japan this past April.

In an interview with Portuguese news website Sic Noticias, University of the Algarve professor Margarida Castro said the frilled shark gets its name from the way its 300 teeth are arranged.

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