Australian scientists have discovered a new species of shark with a unique shape. According to the description, they have a large head, horns protruding from the eyes, spines in front of the dorsal fin and human-like teeth.
The new species, named the painted horn shark (scientific name: Heterodontus marshallae), is part of the order Heterodontiformes.
Their appearance reminds scientists of fossils of a long-extinct shark species, including horns. But after research, they discovered they were not closely related.
The new species of shark was found in the waters of northwest Australia, at a depth of 125 – 229 meters below sea level.
This shark has extremely large jaws compared to its skull and many teeth. In particular, their teeth are similar to human molars. This structure allows the painted horned shark to crush creatures such as mollusks and crustaceans.
This shark has evolved to crush hard-shelled prey using molar-like teeth, added Will White, the AFCC senior curator and co-author of the study. .
The painted horn shark’s morphology reminds researchers of the zebra horn shark (scientific name: Heterodontus zebra), found in shallower waters, near Indonesia or Japan.
The study has just been published in the scientific journal Diversity.