02 August 2010
I lieu of Discovery Channel's Shark Week (which I look forward to every year), I give you the ridiculous looking "Goblin Shark" (Scientific name: Mitsukurina owstoni). It was named such because of the front of the shark, which looks much like a goblin's nose. That snout, called a rostrum, isn't just for show! It contains electro-sensitive organs that help it sense when other living things are nearby. It was first discovered in 1897 by a Japanese fisherman and, although many specimens have been recovered since then, there is still relatively little known about the shark. What is known is that it's a deep-water shark that rarely enters shallow water and is widely distributed. It's generally seen when caught accidentally by deep-sea fisherman or trollers, but this minimal harvest doesn't appear to be harmful to their population. Seriously, though, check out this video showing how the goblin shark attacks prey (or this man's arm).