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Goblin Shark – Mitsukurina owstoni

Goblin Shark

They feel comfortable living in the very deep parts of the water close to the floor of the ocean. They don’t like to be exposed to the sunlight so they are sometimes referred to as vampire sharks. The numbers of them aren’t even able to be estimated due to the lack of sightings of them.

The have been observed living along the coast of Japan, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Facts about the Goblin Shark

They aren’t often seen and so some people believe they are very low in numbers. Yet they aren’t on protective lists as it isn’t known for sure. Since they live well below where the sunlight comes in the depend on their senses to help them find prey.

They have one of the most unique shapes about them of all shapes. In fact, some individuals who have seen them in the water report disabled and disfigured sharks. They assume this is some type of species that has been born with genetic concerns or that has been mangled by another creature living in the water.

What does the Goblin Shark Eat?

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. They do feed quite frequently which is interesting. The goblin shark has a very large liver which is usually found in sharks that don’t eat very often.

They have a very unique way of attacking their prey. When they approach it their jaw goes out similar to how a human can stick out its tongue. Then with a sucking motion they draw they prey into their mouth where very powerful teeth are waiting to consume it.

Anatomy of the Goblin Shark

The goblin shark is believed to be one of the most unique looking of all species. If you are impressed with the hammerheads then you need to look at pictures of the goblins as well. You won’t come upon very many of them in the water so pictures may be the only glimpse of them that end up getting.

They are a very pale gray color with a pinkish white belly. That pink is due to the skin being so transparent you can actually see the blood vessels inside. The nose is pointed and for some species they appear to have a sword at the tip of it. This can be a very effective tool used for hunting prey and protecting itself.

Reproduction of the Goblin Shark

The reproductive process of the goblin shark hasn’t been well observed. Since they live so deep in the water it is hard to know how the process is taking place. It is believed the females carry eggs inside of them that then hatch and they babies are expelled from the body. This isn’t known for sure though and researches continue in their quest to capture a pregnant goblin shark so they can find out for sure.

The Future of the Goblin Shark

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Even though the reproductive process of the goblin shark isn’t well known they seem to be doing well. The exact number of them hasn’t been determined due to where they dwell. Yet there aren’t any red flags that give concern that warrant putting them on the list of endangered sharks.




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May 2016
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