Happy Halloween: Eerie Elasmobranchs
Enjoy this wild and wicked list of amazing and eerie elasmobranchs just in time for Halloween!
Goblin Shark: Rarely seen, this pink color could cause a scream! Living as deep as 4,265 feet (1,300m) in the dark is where they creep. Squid and crabs are equal prey with the goblin’s long teeth in the front and flat crushers in the back. By relaxing ligaments in the mouth, the jaw catapults forward for a quick snack.
Angel shark: Sitting on the ground, this camouflaged shark cannot be found. Flat like its cousins the stingrays but the angel shark hunts in disguise. Waiting patiently for fish to swim by he’ll catch them by surprise!
Devil ray: Horns of cartilage on this gentle ray aid in feeding on its favorite prey of plankton and small fish. At 4 feet (1.2 meters) across these larger rays are truly something to cherish.
Chilean Devil Ray Image: Carlos Minguell
Velvet belly lantern shark: Living in the deep sea means little to no visibility. This shark has a glowing belly, fins and chin thanks to photophores on its skin. They help him to hunt, hide and find a mate before he’s found by a predatory skate.
Ghost shark: ( Not an Elasmobranch, but a close relative known as a chimaera) White and shiny like a ghost, these “sharks” use a hook with electro sensors to search for their prey the most. They live in cooler seas of Australia and New Zealand down to 656 feet (200 m) but move to estuaries and bays for a mate they hope to meet.
Ghost Shark Image: Kelvin Aitken
Sawfish: A long, toothed nose is useful in hunting and defense but a dangerous trophy as a consequence. Endangered since 2011 these elasmobranchs need more help and support. With many voices we can stop any illegal trade and export.
Smalltooth sawfish Image: Jillian Morris
Helicoprion: Extinct and long gone, fossils of spiraled jaws are all that’s left of the Helicoprion. Scientist cannot agree on the position or direction of this strange jaw though it seems like it was used like a rotating saw.
Helicoprion Image: Ray Troll
Frilled shark: These gills may give you a chill as this shark swims more like a snake. 42 months of gestation is no piece of cake.
Frilled Shark Image: Kelvin Aitken
Ghost catshark: Only growing to 85 centimeters this ghost is sometimes caught off the North Atlantic deep coast.(1,000-2,000 meters or 3,280-6,561 feet). Listed by IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as “a species of least concern” means there’s much more to learn!
Image via Shark Sider Credit Unknown