February 16, 2011
On the 21 of January 2007, a 5 ft 3in shark was caught in Japanese waters. This may seem quite uninteresting, but the shark that was spotted is one of the very few unique species of shark that have survived without evolving at all.
Called the frilled shark (because of how it flares its gills), this shark has not changed for a HUNDRED MILLION years. Scientists do not know why it hasn’t evolved, and for a while it was even thought to be extinct. When it was discovered to be extant (i.e. still existing) many people called it the “living fossil”. This is because it is the only species in the shark family that completely avoided evolution!
Although they are rarely seen, they have been spotted in certain areas around the world… from northern Norway to France, Morocco, West Africa (where they have the 2nd kind of frilled shark, called the Southern African frilled shark, which only lives in the regions of South-Africa), New Zealand, Hawaii, Chile and other places…
The video below shows you the frilled shark that was spotted by a fisherman in Japan. It was 5.3 feet long (although they can range up to 6.6ft in length), but died shortly after it was moved to a seawater pool in Japan’s Awashima Marine Park.
You can see from the video that it has a body in the shape of an eel and has a very unique formed head. No other shark or fish has that.
Some people who don’t know that this shark is called the frilled shark have named it the red dragon… simply because it looks like one! The first Japanese textual reference to dragons referred to them in several ways. One of the words used to refer to a dragon was “Wani” 鰐 meaning sea monster. This translates to both ‘shark’ and ‘crocodile’.
Most of the Japanese dragons in the texts, like other Asian dragons, were associated with water and being water deities. They were depicted in ancient images as large, serpentine creatures, without wings and with clawed feet…
I have added more photos below…do take a look.
Or view the video on the server at:
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