Goblin Sharks

by Alexa (age 9, @KNEstemGirls)

By Shark SiderThe goblin shark is a rare and unusual looking species of deep-sea shark. It is sometimes called a “living fossil” because it is the only living representative of the family Mitsukurinidae, a lineage about 125 million years old. They are comfortable living in the very deep parts of the water close to the floor of the ocean. Goblin sharks don’t like sunlight so they are sometimes referred to as vampire sharks.

We can’t estimate their numbers due to the lack of sightings of them. Goblin sharks have been observed living along the coast of Japan, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean.

The coloration, snout and tooth structure of Goblin sharks make them extremely unique and easy to pick out. Believe it or not, their bodies range from a pinkish gray to a bubblegum pink in color.

Since goblin sharks live at the bottom of the water, they tend to feed on the organisms that are also down there. That includes sting rays, mollusks, and crabs. In some areas they are also able to eat squid. Goblin sharks feed very frequently. Strangely, they have a very large liver which is usually found in sharks that don’t eat very often.

Goblin sharks have a very unique way of attacking their prey. When they approach, their jaw goes out similar to how humans can stick out our tongues. Then, with a sucking motion they draw their prey into their mouth where very powerful teeth are waiting to consume it. It’s super cool – check it out in the Quick STEM links.

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