Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Goblin Shark

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The Goblin Shark... yuck! I mean, why? Why SO ugly? Was it really necessary? Did it really have to? How does it, like, get with the ladies and stuff? Don't they realise how incredibly unattractive they are? Do they care?

You know, they probably don't. Goblin sharks are found in the lightless deep seas, apparently all over the world, or at least close to the more food rich shores. They get to around 11 feet long and are the only living species in their family, all the others having died out. They look very different from our more typical sharks, and not for the better either!

For one, Goblins are the only shark to look pink. Their skin is actually partially transparent, so the colour comes from the blood vessels beneath. Eww. Inside, as much as a quarter of their mass can be taken up by a huge liver that is used for deep sea buoyancy control.

RealMonstrosities.com
Their fins are rounded rather than the sharp, refined shape that we normally associate with sharks. It's these little details that help ensure the goblin shark just looks 'wrong' to our eyes. Then you get to the head.

Goblin sharks have a huge, flat, wide snout sticking out of their face. It looks for all the world like the nose of some evil night-hag. It's actually full of electro-sensitive organs that can sense the presence of prey without the use of sight. The whole fish seems to attenuate to this point, giving it a rather emaciated look, I find. When it's at rest at least.

When it opens it's mouth you will see that a multitude of thin teeth seem to spill out from it in an entirely random fashion. Further inside, it has rear teeth that are adapted for crushing prey like squid, crabs and fish. Hopefully you won't have any experience of those teeth at all.


And then, most famously of all, its jaws shoot out from its mouth as if, not content with merely spilling forth, the teeth are straining to escape the Goblin altogether. Who could blame them?

So it seems that the goblin shark swims around in the dark looking for dinner with that gigantic schnozzle. Once it senses something tasty, it can approach and then, once close enough, catch them with a burst of speed from its extendible jaws. They didn't see that coming! They probably didn't even think it was possible. In fact, Goblins also have a muscle that allows them to suck prey straight into those teeth, so there seems to be little chance of escape.

Approximately nothing is known about how goblin sharks meet and mate. I'm pretty sure that this is all because they are a seldom found, deep sea fish. I mean, it couldn't possibly be anything to do with just how darn ugly they are, could it? 

14 comments:

zanck said...

wow,, so scary,,

like this,,

visit me, please..

http://uzanck-area.blogspot.com

Comment1 said...

That's the plan!

Heidi Moorhead said...

I went searching for information on this interesting looking creature and found you! Ah Real Monstrosities, you have all the answers I am looking for!

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Hahah! Well that's nice to hear!

brooke pomsan said...

Love this blog!

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Awww! Thank you!

Ethan Kranz said...

IT IS SO SAD HE IS SO UGLY!

Ethan Kranz said...

ALSO THIS BLOG RULES.

Ethan Kranz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Evan Parisey said...

this is cool

Evan Parisey said...

please check the comments grant

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

The comments what?

Evan Parisey said...

I was talking to grant

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

OK :P

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