9 May 2014, 10:16

Photos of goblin shark draw attention of scientists

Photos of goblin shark draw attention of scientists

Last month a photo of a shark taken by the fishermen Carl Moore drew attention of a lot of scientists. Moore, 63, from Georgia, caught a goblin shark in the Gulf of Mexico on April, 19. According to his estimates the shark was 18 to 20 feet long. Since the shark was still alive, Moore released it after taking photos.

It seems that fisherman Carl Moore caught a very rare one, claims Andrew Thaler, a marine biologist in California, "Imagine a pill bug the size of a house cat."

Thaler says that those creatures can grow up to 20 centimeters and usually live in the deep sea. They are usually very spread out which makes it hard to ever see them.

"I've never seen that many in one place at the same time before," he said.

"Food in the deep sea is very rare. That is one of the defining characteristics of the deep sea. There is no sunlight, so there are no plants for the most part," Thaler said.

When something huge dies at sea, like a whale, for instance, all the creatures swarm around it.

"They can go and gorge on a carcass and survive for months," he said. "They have to be able to store all this food in their body because they don't know when they will feed again."

According to Thaler, it could be one of the reasons why Moore was able to catch the goblin shark. Shark expert John Carlson said that the shark that Moore caught last month was only the second hark of that type ever caught in the Gulf of Mexico, and the first since 2000.

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