Is the Prehistoric Frilled Shark Really 80 Million Years Old?

This creepy, snake-like frilled shark is literally a living fossil. Learn about 6 facts about this crazy creature - and if it's really 80 million years old!
Frilled Shark 1

Does the idea of a prehistoric shark with a mouth compared to “a circular saw blade filled with razor-sharp teeth” sound like something out of a horror movie? Well, surprise! This creepy creature, known as the frilled shark, actually exists and is lurking in the depths of ocean!

This uncommon and mysterious creature has been around since the days of dinosaurs, and there’s still a lot we don’t know about it. There’s even stuff we get wrong about it, even me!

So, is the frilled shark is really 80 million years old? Let’s dive into 6 facts about this prehistoric predator and find out!

1. The frilled shark has a long, snake-like body that can grow up to 6.5 feet in length.

Image of frilled shark via Animal Spot

2. The frilled shark has 300 extremely sharp teeth arranged in 25 rows and six pairs of gill slits.

The frilled shark’s gill slits are located on either side of its head, instead of the usual one pair found in most other sharks. It’s long body and sharp teeth are perfect for ambushing and snagging its unsuspecting prey.

Frilled shark with mouth open, image via National Geographic

3. Their favorite meal is squid. But it will also eat fish, crabs and other small sharks. 

4. Scientists believe that the frilled shark is so rare because it prefers to live in deep water, specifically as much as 5,000 feet below the surface.

Image of frilled shark via NPR

5. There had only been two confirmed sightings of this prehistoric shark.

The first sighting was in Japanese waters back in the 1930s, and the second sighting was off the coast of Australia in 2007. 

A frilled shark in the depths of the ocean, image via Wikipedia

6. The frilled shark doesn’t chew its food before swallowing it whole.

Instead, it wraps its body around its prey and then proceeds to swallow it like a snake. If you’re thinking that sounds pretty gruesome, you’re not alone. In fact, one scientist who had the opportunity to study a dead frilled shark compared its mouth to “a circular saw blade filled with razor-sharp teeth.” Yikes!

So, is the frilled shark in our video really 80 million years old? The short answer: No.

While frilled shark’s lineage goes back 80 million years, its actual lifespan is around 25 years.

So, watch their face as this eerie history lesson sinks in and warn them that the next time they’re out swimming in open water, try not to think about the fact that there might be a prehistoric predator lurking below… lest they’ll end up like one of its hapless victims!

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