Here’s a lovely looking fellow, you wouldn’t likely want to see at the beach.
The goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) is a rare species of deep-sea shark. Sometimes called a “living fossil”, it is the only extant representative of the family Mitsukurinidae, a lineage some 125 million years old. This pink-skinned animal has a distinctive profile with an elongated, flattened snout, and highly protrusible jaws containing prominent nail-like teeth. It is usually between 3 and 4 m (10 and 13 ft) long when mature, though it can grow considerably larger. Goblin sharks inhabit upper continental slopes, submarine canyons, and seamounts throughout the world at depths greater than 100 m (330 ft), with adults found deeper than juveniles.
Its long snout is covered with ampullae of Lorenzini that enable it to sense minute electric fields produced by nearby prey, which it can snatch up by rapidly extending its jaws.
It has 35–53 upper and 31–62 lower tooth rows.
Since it is not a fast swimmer, the goblin shark may be an ambush predator. Its low-density flesh and large oilyliver make it neutrally buoyant, allowing it to drift towards its prey with minimal motions so as to avoid detection. Once prey comes into range, the shark’s specialized jaws can snap forward to capture it. The protrusion of the jaw is assisted by two pairs of elastic ligaments associated with the mandibular joint, which are pulled taut when the jaws are in their normal retracted position; when the shark bites, the ligaments release their tension and essentially “catapult” the jaws forward. At the same time, the well-developed basihyal (analogous to a tongue) on the floor of the mouth drops, expanding the oral cavity and sucking in water and prey.
Unless you are a deep diver, the Goblin Shark poses no threats to humans. That is unless a nuclear or chemical anomaly has radically changed it’s DNA structure and now it can crawl up onto land and it line behind you at Starbucks. But what are the chances of that happening?