This highly distinctive animal Mitsukurina owstoni, is a deep water shark with pink-looking skin and grows to roughly 3-4m (10-13) feet at maturity. The flattened snout sticking out from the top of the head is quite distinctive as is the protruding jaw. The jaws are hinged to slide forward during a bite to quickly reach out and grab their prey.

The body is less remarkable, almost flabby, with smaller fins. As a result it is a slower swimmer, but its jaws are lightning fast, suggesting it is an ambush predator. Check out the videos here to watch its jaws in action. Since the head isn’t nearly terrifying enough, let it be known that its skin is actually transparent, so we can see the blood vessels near the skin giving it the pinkish hue.

The species appears to live in waters on continental platforms and slopes, at depths of 1,300-1,370 meters. They have been found in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian ocean, however sightings are rare, indicating they prefer their depths. Some that have been caught in nets as by-catch, on examination have been found with garbage in their stomachs, along with teleost fishes, ostracods, squids, crabs, and cephalopods and pelagic species. With this diet it is clear that the goblin shark can swim in the depths as well as within shallow waters to find its food.

They are not listed as being under threat at this time; the Red List of the UICN shows them as “Minor Concern.”  They post little to no threat to humans.

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