The frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus) is one of only two still living species of shark in the family Chlamydoselachidae. While rarely seen, it has a wide but patchy distribution in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. More specifically, this extremely rare species is found over the outer continental shelf and upper continental slope, generally near the bottom though there is evidence of substantial upward movements.
It has been caught as deep as 1,570 m, whereas in Suruga Bay, Japan it is more commonly found at depths of 50–200 m.
Seldom observed, the frilled shark is speculated to capture its prey by bending its body and lunging forward like a snake. The long, extremely flexible jaws enable it to swallow large prey whole, while the many rows of small, needle-like teeth prevent escape. It feeds mainly on cephalopods - octopus and soft-bodied squid etc, while also consuming bony fishes and other sharks.
Frilled sharks are occasionally captured as bycatch by commercial fisheries but have little economic value. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed it as Near Threatened, since given its very low reproductive rate even incidental catches may deplete its population. This shark, or a supposed giant relative, has been suggested as a source for reports of sea serpents.
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