A huge Megamouth shark washed ashore in the Philippines this week measuring a whopping 15 feet long.
This was the latest sighting of the rare shark since last summer. Villagers nicknamed the beats ‘Toothless’ and preserved the body on ice so scientists could have a look at the shark.
The megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) is an extremely rare species of deepwater shark, and the smallest of the three planktivorous sharks, besides the whale sharkand basking shark. Since its discovery in 1976, few megamouth sharks have been seen, with 60 specimens known to have been caught or sighted as of January 2015, including three recordings on film. Like the other two filter-feeders, it swims with its enormous mouth wide open, filtering water for plankton and jellyfish.
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It is distinctive for its large head with rubbery lips. It is so unlike any other type of shark that it is usually considered to be the sole extant species in the distinct family Megachasmidae, though suggestion has been made that it may belong in the family Cetorhinidae, of which the basking shark is currently the sole extant member. In addition to the living M. pelagios, however, two extinct megamouth species – the Cretaceous M. comanchensis and the Oligocene–Miocene M. applegatei – have also recently been proposed on the basis of fossilised tooth remains.
The species was first discovered in 1976, and is found mostly near Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.
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