A new shark species discovered in Australia has human-like molars, according to a statement issued in late July.
The new shark species was first identified after being caught by scientists from the Australian National Fish Collection (ANFC), the agency said in a statement. Known as the painted hornshark, the unique creature has humanlike molars that smash down on its prey along the coasts of Western Australia.
The shark was first found in November 2022 and resembles an order of sharks that have long gone extinct. The 1.75-foot-long creature was found in the Gascoyne Marine Park.
Odd new shark species with humanlike molars discovered in Australia – https://t.co/Lloi5MotOv
— Ken Gusler (@kgusler) August 9, 2023
“This order of sharks resembles fossils of long extinct sharks due to similar morphology, including spines. But we know now they’re not closely related,” ANFC fish biologist Helen O’Neill said in the statement. “Heterodontiformes have a unique body shape and ‘horns’ formed by crests just above their eyes. They tend to sit on the seafloor and feed mainly on creatures like molluscs and crustaceans. They have a small mouth but crushing jaws that are huge relative to their skull size and powerful enough to crush cowrie shells.” (RELATED: Crazy Video Shows Orangutan Attacking A Man In A Zoo)
The painted hornshark is one of several stunning shark discoveries in recent years. In May, scientists uncovered a new species of “demon” shark, with haunting white eyes. In 2022, scientists documented a Papuan species of epaulette shark “walking.”