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A frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus) swims above the sea floor. This species has been, on rare occasion, caught or taken in bottom trawls. To the knowledge of everyone on board the ship, however, this was the first time anyone has ever seen it in its natural habitat. Identification was based on an approximately 30 seconds viewing and videotaping of the specimen, noting diagnostic characters such as body shape; snout length; mouth length and position; vertical fin length, height, shape and placement; and by reviewing video clips and images of previous submersible observations of hexanchiform sharks (bluntnose sixgill shark, Hexanchus griseus (Bonnaterre, 1788) in the area (Barans and Ulrich 1994; Weaver and Sedberry 2001). The terminal mouth with narrow-cusped teeth, elongate eel-like body, highly visible frilly gill slits, and the single and spineless low dorsal fin posterior to the pelvic fins and above a long-based anal fin confirmed the species identification. The shark hovered in front of the submersible before turning sharply toward and above the vehicle, revealing its terminal mouth and teeth. Video courtesy of Estuary to the Abyss 2004 Exploration, George Sedberry, NOAA-OE.

Related Links

Estuary to the Abyss

Estuary to the Abyss: August 26 Log

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery