Goblin Shark Goblin Shark fish
Goblin Shark


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Goblin Shark

Scientific name: Mitsukurina owstoni

The Goblin shark is a truly strange shark. It is not hard to understand how it got its name when you se it since it looks like something out of a horror movie, like a representation of a demon or a goblin. The Goblin shark has only been encountered a few times and very little is known about this shark. What is know is that it is a slow moving deep sea shark that lives on depth of about 1200m /4000ft in Seas around the world. Goblin sharks have been observed in western Indian Ocean, western Pacific Ocean and most of the Atlantic.

This shark species has rounded fin and an asymmetrical quite long tail fin. Goblin shark have a pale pink-grey (sometimes almost red) skin done and a long flat snout which plays an important role in giving this shark it’s unique appearance. It is believed that the snout contains electrosensory canals which helps the shark find hidden prey.

This shark that feeds on fish including other sharks and rays can grow to be 3.8m/13 ft long. (They might grow bigger but the above number is based on the biggest observed specimens.) They also feed on crustaceans and different forms of cephalopods (squid, octopus, cuttlefish) They have several rows of teeth of which some are developed to help catch prey while other are designed to help the Goblin sharks crush the shell of crustaceans.

Goblin sharks live on a depth where the amount of light is severely limited due to the fact that the suns rays can’t penetrate the ocean so far down. This forces the Goblin sharks to use other senses as aids when hunting prey. It is believed that the Goblin shark primarily uses smell to fid potential prey but that electrical charges also should play an important role in finding and capturing prey. All other senses are believed to be of minimal importance.

The ability to feel electric signals are present in many sharks and is possible by an something called ampullae of Lorenzini. The ampullae of Lorenzini consist of a number of channels in their head which are filled with a jelly that allows them to detect the electrical fields that are generated by all animals when they move. There are theories that suggest that the ampullae of Lorenzini also can help sharks sense magnetic fields which might help them navigated in the pitch black world that is the deep sea.

An interesting curiosity that puzzles scientist with the Goblin shark is the fact that their liver can make up 25% of the total weight of the shark

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