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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Frilled Shark Chlamydoselachus anguineus

With its elongated, eel-like body and flattened head, the frilled shark bears little resemblance to other sharks.

The most noticeable difference between frilled sharks and other sharks is that its mouth is at the front of its head instead of on the underside. In addition, while most modern sharks have five pairs of gill slits, the frilled shark has six, each with a frilled edge. Its small teeth are also unusual, each having three sharp points.

Frilled sharks have been observed swimming with their mouths open, displaying their conspicuous white teeth, leading to the suspicion that the teeth act as a lure for prey. The frilled shark lives near the seabed in deep water but occasionally comes to the surface. It feeds on deep-water fish and squid.

The male frilled shark has two long claspers on the belly, which are used to transfer sperm to the female when mating. This species is ovoviviparous, meaning that the eggs hatch inside the mother, which then gives birth to live young. Up to 12 young are born as long as two years after fertilization.

Trawlers fishing for other deep-sea species often catch frilled sharks as by-catch. Because this species reproduces so infrequently, it is especially vulnerable, and is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of endangered species.

What Oceana Does to Protect Frilled Sharks

Oceana works to protect sharks from bycatch and shark finning.

Frilled Shark (Illustration)zoom image
  • Order Hexanchiformes
  • Length Up to 6 ft (2 m)
  • Weight Not recorded
  • Depth Mostly 400–5,150 ft (120–1,570 m )
  • Distribution Worldwide but discontinuous
Frilled Shark Habitat Mapzoom image