Goblin Shark Facts
- The quite remarkable Goblin Shark represents an extremely rare species of deep-sea shark. Its most distinctive feature also remains the unique shape of its head and teeth.
- Very little reliable information exists concerning this astonishing creature, primarily found in the waters of Asia, however. Yet what data does exist continues to amaze researchers.
- Interestingly enough, based on the ages of observed specimens and the depths at which these were found, it appears that the older sharks prefer to inhabit deeper waters than the younger individuals.
- In addition, the strange pinkish hue of its skin does not derive from pigmentation. Rather, it occurs due to the fact that the outer layer of its skin is transparent, allowing one to view the oxygenated blood flowing through its veins.
Bull Shark Swell Shark Blue Shark
Goblin Shark Physical Description
The highly unusual Goblin Shark averages roughly 10 ft (3.1 m) in length, yet a few exceptional specimens reach 11 ft (3.5 m).
This data remains questionable to most researchers, however, since one apparently exceptional specimen reached a length of 20 ft (6.2 m).
Most notably, the odd structure of its teeth and snout remain its most distinctive features. The snout develops rather elongated and quite flattened, which gives the snout a blade-like appearance.
The teeth also develop quite long, slender, and extremely sharp. Ironically, the jaws remain relatively soft and delicate, however.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Chondrichthyes
- Order: Lamniformes
- Family: Mitsukurinidae
- Genus: Mitsukurina
- Species: M. owstoni
Goblin Shark Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Goblin Shark appears to be present throughout the oceans of the world, but most commonly lives in the waters near Japan. Though it appears to be quite rare, its numbers seem to be stable, thus the IUCN currently lists it as a Species of Least Concern.
It inhabits depths of 130 – 3,940 ft (40 m to 1,200 m), yet the majority of individuals either seen or captured have been caught at depths of 200 – 920 ft (60 m to 280 m).
Its exact diet remains undetermined, yet it appears to be an opportunistic feeder, taking any prey of appropriate size native to the area it inhabits.
To date, only about 45 individuals have ever been observed. So, the fact that scientists have little information about this creature occurs because of its rarity. Also due to this fact, few quality photos of live specimens exist.
Species Sharing Its Range
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Tyler Fearon says
are goblin sharks kept in captivity?
Todd Sain Sr. says
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, the answer is a sad one. Goblin Sharks do not take well to captivity. Only a few have ever been captured alive, to begin with. Those few that have been, have all perished within a few days…a week at most. Yet another reason why wild creatures should remain in the wild.