A REAL life sea monster “from the age of the dinosaurs” has caused waves in the scientific world after being caught off the Algarve coast.
The ultra-rare frilled shark — which has a body like a snake but the jaws of a terrifying sea predator — was hauled out of the water by EU fish stock researchers, reports The Sun.
The Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere have now dubbed the shark a “living fossil” as the species dates back 80 million years.
This makes it one of very few creatures from the dinosaur times that are still around, with the shark discovered off the coast of Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
The male fish measured 1.5 metres in length and was captured at a depth of 701 metres off the resort of Portimao.
The shark has a long, slim, snakelike body, but other than it is odd appearance little is known about it.
This is because they are so rare they have not been caught. When they do they often don’t reach research labs.
Professor Margarida Castro of the University of the Algarve told Sic Noticias news website that the shark gets its name from the frilled arrangement of its 300 teeth.
He said this allows it to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges.
It is though the frilled shark, with its snakelike movements, may have inspired sailors’ stories of sea serpents.