Mitsukurina owstoni

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

A pink shark with a soft, flabby body and an unmistakable flat, elongated snout. It has protrusable jaws, and a long tail fin with no ventral lobe.

56-GOBLIN-SHARK-MITSUKURINA_OWSTONI.jpg

COLOR

Pinkish-white.

SIZE

Males mature at 8.7 ft [264 cm] and females mature at 11 ft [335 cm]. Their maximum size is estimated to be more than 16.4 ft [500 cm].

TEETH

Long-cusped, slender teeth.

HABITAT

These sharks prefer deepwater, outer continental shelves, upper slopes and off seamounts. They very rarely surface, and usually remain at depths of 885.8 to 3149.6 ft [270 to 960 m], to at least 4265.1 ft [1300 m].

DISTRIBUTION

Very patchy distribution in the Atlantic, western Indian and Pacific Oceans.

BIOLOGY:

Prey – Possibly soft-bodied fishes and squid.

BEHAVIOR

This shark’s body form suggests that it is a poor swimmer. Its blade-like snout may be used to detect prey, and its highly specialized jaws can shoot forward rapidly to snap up prey. Its slender front teeth suggest a diet of small, soft-bodied fishes and squid, but its back teeth are modified to crush food.

STATUS

They are occasionally bycatch in deepwater fisheries.