ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Frilled Sharks - The Oldest Living Shark Species

Updated on July 6, 2012

Frilled sharks (Chlamydoselachus anguineus) have elongated bodies giving them the appearance of eels, or perhaps snakes.

It is the only shark in the family Chlamydoselachidae.

Growing to only 2m (6' 6") in length, these sharks are rarely seen, but have been occasionally fished out of the water as an accidental by-catch.

They have no known uses for man and so are not fished commercially.

As in most shark species, the female attains a greater length than the smaller male, which only grows to 1.7m (5ft 6in).

They may have been mistaken for the mythical sea serpent, much reported by seamen over the centuries.

Frilled sharks are possibly the most primitive sharks in the oceans, dating back to 150 million years virtually unchanged.

They are not considered dangerous to humans, mostly because we seldom meet one, and in fact the only people who tend to see them at all are fishermen and scientists.

Frilled shark
Frilled shark | Source

Where do frilled sharks live?

Frilled sharks live on the continental slopes of the oceans, in caves and crevices, where they slither out to catch unwary prey.

They have been caught at depths of 1,500m (5,000ft), although they are not usually caught at depths greater than 1000m (3,300ft).

In fact, in the Pacific Ocean off Japan, they have frequently been found at depths of only 50m (160ft), except during the hot months of summer when they travel deeper to find cooler waters.

With their preference for cooler waters, frilled sharks have been found in a wide range of places throughout the world, and even as far north as the freezing waters off Norway.

global locations of frilled sharks
global locations of frilled sharks | Source

What do frilled sharks eat?

The jaws of the frilled shark open wide, and their small pointed teeth are razor sharp, suggesting they have the ability to eat prey much larger than themselves.

Frequently, when their stomachs are cut open, there is nothing there. This suggest they either have an extremely fast metabolism, or that they go for long periods without eating.

Scientists have reported finding the remains of other sharks, rays, squid and cephalopods including octopus and cuttlefish in their stomachs, as well as bony fish.

Frilled shark's head
Frilled shark's head | Source

Other names of Chlamydoselachus anguineus

  • Frill shark
  • Frill-gilled shark
  • Frilled shark
  • Lizard shark
  • Scaffold shark
  • Silk shark

What is the classification of frilled sharks?









Frilled shark
Frilled shark | Source

How do frilled sharks reproduce?

Poor Mrs Frilled has a long pregnancy of perhaps 2.5 years before she gives birth to between 2 - 15 live young, each measuring 40 - 60cm (16 - 24ins).

The average litter is 6.

Frilled sharks are aplacental viviparous, which means that their young grow inside eggs which are kept within their body until maturity.

The young inside the eggs are fed by yolks.

In frilled sharks, the weight and size of the newborn pups do not correspond to the amount of yolk available to them prenatally, suggesting the mother provides some other means of additional nourishment.

This is at present unknown.

Are frilled sharks endangered?

No-one is sure how many frilled sharks there are in the world, but because the increase in commercial fishing activities is resulting on more of them being caught as a by-catch, the IUCN have listed the frilled shark as Near Threatened.

Frilled Shark on camera


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      2 years ago

      This article was so good how do you know this stuff

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      that's so crazy

    • sharkfacts profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      I could. Not here, perhaps in another article. There are about 400 different known species of shark.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      can you put up every type of shark on it


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)