What In The World Is A Goblin Shark
The Great White, Hammerhead, Tiger, and Lemon are all common names of different species of sharks. Of course, there is a way more sophisticated classification system, with over 450 species, that is extremely interesting. There are sharks that I could not even begin to pretend to know. One such shark that I ran across is the Goblin Shark. So, here are some facts for beginning shark enthusiasts, such as myself.
The Goblin Shark is often referred to as a living fossil. The species derives from the Mitsukurinidae family of sharks, which has been around for at least 125 years. The thing that makes the Goblin Shark so special is that it is the only living species to remain from this family of sharks. For a fish to have been around for so long, I find it amazing that I have never heard of it.
The Goblin Shark is very rarely seen. It is believed that since the discovery of the species, only about 50 sightings have occurred. They do not tend to be a fan of the sunlight, so they tend to stay in deeper waters, towards the ocean floor. Due to the nature of staying out of the sunlight, the Goblin Shark is also sometimes referred to as the Vampire Shark. Although few sightings have been made, it is believed that the species is thriving.
Uniqueness Of The Goblin Shark
With little research being performed, and only a small number of sightings being reported, facts on all of the Goblin Shark’s unique features are scarce. However, a few things are known. This species of shark may be the most unique looking shark to ever swim in the ocean, with the Hammerhead coming in a close second. The unique physical characteristics that this species possesses makes it easily distinguishable from other species of sharks.
The characteristics of the Goblin Shark are so unique that there have been reports from divers on disfigured sharks. The shark has often been described as deformed, grotesque, and even mangled. The reports have mainly been made due to concern for the safety and well being of the shark, but in reality, the Goblin Shark is beautiful, in a unique sort of way.
The way in which the Goblin Shark eats is fascinating. Stingrays and crabs are some of the food that is readily available to them. Any other type of marine life that hangs around the ocean floor is fair game as well. They remind me of a slug, so to speak. They swim along, nice and easy, around the ocean floor. They wait patiently for a food source to get close enough, and then without warning they strike. Obviously, the slug reference was referring to the movement of the shark, not the feeding habits.
Goblin Sharks are able to extend their jaw. Some say the jaw extension resembles the motion of a tongue extending out of the mouth. Imagine a horse’s long tongue extending out of the mouth to reach for a sugar cube. This will give you a rough idea of the image that is trying to be created. Next, the shark is able to perform a sucking motion, which pulls the food source towards the mouth. Finally, the teeth are waiting for the prey, and the rest is history, so to speak.
The Name Of The Goblin Shark Gives It A Bad Wrap
I understand that at first glance the Goblin Shark may not be the prettiest of all sharks, but this name has forsaken the entire species. From the sounds of it, the Goblin Shark hangs out at the bottom of the ocean, not bothering anyone, and yet the species still catches a bad wrap because of physical traits. Before even viewing a photo of the shark, you cringe at the mere sound of the name.
Any other reference would be an improvement for the successful integration of this species into a category of other known species. Perhaps the Bottom Feeding Shark, or the Extendable Jaw Shark, but I am not sure either one of those rolls off of the tongue as well as the Goblin Shark. If you have ever seen a goblin in a movie, that image is implanted in your mind, so perhaps the Goblin Shark is appropriate.
More studies need to be enacted to study this deep ocean species, as well as the many other deep ocean species. This will ensure that our society has done its due diligence in exploring the underwater depths. Many aspects of the Goblin Shark, as well as many others, are a mystery. Mysteries which society as a whole has capabilities to solve.
By studying the Goblin Shark, and other species of sharks, only further advancements to society will come. Perhaps one of these sharks holds the key to unlocking a cure for a formerly incurable disease. Perhaps they have the answer to peace on earth for mankind. The advancements that can be made to society by the mere studying of a species are endless.
Enough about mankind. The Goblin Shark, and others, will also benefit from these new studies. Their habitats, and ecosystems, can be observed. This will reveal to society if a problem with the species exists, such as the fear of extinction, and if something can be done to reverse those effects. There is much more that mankind and these deep ocean sharks can learn from each other.