A Toothy Grin

A southern African frilled shark
Smithsonian Institution

The southern African frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus africana) is a very rare shark species that was only just recently described by scientists nine years ago. Found only in the deep waters off of southern Africa, it is an elusive relative of the equally rare frilled shark (C. anguineus). Both species, which are difficult to tell apart, have long eel-like bodies reminiscent of a sea serpent. These two surreal looking frilled shark species have been called “living fossils” due to some of their more primitive features. Notable are the extremely flexible jaws that allow it to swallow cephalopod prey whole.



Tags: Sharks