Science | November 13, 2017 9:26 am

Dinosaur-Era Shark With 300 Teeth Found Flourishing Off Portuguese Coast

Remains of this “living fossil” have been dated back 80 million years, according to the BBC.

In this handout picture released by Awashima Marine Park, a 1.6 meter long Frill shark swims in a tank after being found by a fisherman at a bay in Numazu, on January 21, 2007 in Numazu, Japan. The frill shark, also known as a Frilled shark usually lives in waters of a depth of 600 meters and so it is very rare that this shark is found alive at sea-level. It's body shape and the number of gill are similar to fossils of sharks which lived 350,000,000 years ago. (Photo by Awashima Marine Park/Getty Images)
In this handout picture released by Awashima Marine Park, a 1.6 meter long Frill shark swims in a tank after being found by a fisherman at a bay in Numazu, on January 21, 2007 in Numazu, Japan. The frill shark, also known as a Frilled shark usually lives in waters of a depth of 600 meters and so it is very rare that this shark is found alive at sea-level. It's body shape and the number of gill are similar to fossils of sharks which lived 350,000,000 years ago. (Photo by Awashima Marine Park/Getty Images)

Sporting the triangular head of a snake with teeth fit for a garbage disposal, the rare frill shark was recently captured by researchers off the coast of Portugal, the BBC is reporting. The scientists were using a trawler to identify ways to “minimize unwanted catches in commercial fishing” when they pulled the 80 million-year-old “living fossil” on board.

Professor Margarida Castro of the University of the Algarve reportedly told the outlet Sic Notices that the shark’s name stems from the “frilled arrangement” of its 300 teeth, “which allows it to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges.”

While there is very little documentation of the shark in its natural habitat, it only takes one shot to see why Samuel Garman, the first scientist to study the creature, reportedly thought it served as inspiration for sailors’ legends of sea serpents.