Bizarre Sofa Shark Found Off The Coast Of Scotland

Francis YupangcoBy Francis Yupangco 5 years ago5 Comments

sofa-sharkLets get this straight, the Pseudotriakis Microdon, commonly known as the ‘sofa shark’ or ‘false catshark’, does not conjure up the typical image people think of when ‘shark’ comes to mind. And it usually isn’t found in Scotland. This strange looking ground shark has a very soft and flabby appearance. It typically resides at depths of over 1400 feet off the continental and insular slopes. The largest Sofa shark found was noted at 10 feet in length and 275 pounds in weight. Even more interesting is the large, oily liver, which accounts for twenty-five percent of the sharks weight. It has over 200 teeth that it uses to prey on bottom feeding bony fishes and shrimp. I can imagine that it gets the name sofa shark, based on its resemblance to a discarded old sofa. It also has an unusual form of reproduction, using intrauterine oophagy. Oophagy essentially is “egg eating”, or the practice of embryos feeding on eggs produced by the ovary while still inside the mother’s uterus. The sofa shark only produces two embryos at a time, and it takes a long time for the young to mature, which can also account for why these sharks are so rare. This most recent sighting in Scotland is only the second time a sofa shark has been seen in Scotland, the last time being more than 15 years ago. MORE

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  Fish, Science
Francis Yupangco
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 Francis Yupangco

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Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.

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