Marine biologists in Scotland caught a rare sighting of the most unusual looking “sofa shark”.
The website “Dispatch Times” writes:
“It’s a big and baggy-looking creature”. The scientists identified it as female.
The word “shark” when uttered causes most of us to imagine a massive great-white bearing down on its prey with its menacing teeth.
Pseudotriakis microdon, otherwise known as “false catshark” or “sofa shark”, are generally rare discoveries due to their habit of lurking around the bottom of the ocean. Its features are also similar to “blobfish” which is recently crowned as the ugliest animal in the world. It has the usual parts of a ground shark, with two dorsal fins, one anal fin, five gill slits and the protective nictitating membrane over its eyes. The interesting thing about this one, aside from the fact that the sofa shark is nearly never seen, is that it hadn’t been found in the area for 15 years.
“I was pretty surprised when it landed in our boat”, marine biologist Francis Neat told The Scotsman.
Given that their sightings are rare, the species’ numbers are not known.
The species has been found to reside at depths between 656 feet and 6,200 feet including around seamounts and deep-water coral reefs, but it has also been found in more shallow water, on continental shelves.
But according to the picture taken by scientists before the creature was allowed to return to the deep, the sofa shark has a lot going for it in the looks department. It has enormous oily liver which makes up 25 percent of its total weight.