A rare shark was recently found by scientists in the Pacific Ocean that can extend its jaws beyond its mouth, much like the sci-fi monster from the Ridley Scott's Alien films.
Scientists found the rare creature near Taiwan. It is reportedly called the viper shark. It's known to seize its prey with its rapidly-extending jaws, and can use its huge gape to swallow large fish.
According to a Daily Mail report, Taiwan's Fisheries Research Institute said it had picked up five of the creatures near Donghe Township. They are incredibly rare and just a handful of them was caught since they were first discovered in 1986.
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They are so seldom seen that very little is known about them, but it's believed that they migrate from 300-400m deep during the day to 150m deep at night.
The underside of the mysterious creature has distinct markings containing large numbers of light-producing photophores. However, it's not yet known whether the glowing marks on the shark are used for communication or for attracting prey.
Viper sharks mainly enjoy a diet that comprises of crustaceans and bony fish, including lanternfishes – that are believed to be attracted by the predator's glowing body.
The Fisheries Research Institute described the rare creature thus: "The most obvious features are the needle-shaped teeth, like snake-like fangs; this is also the origin of viper shark name."
This rare species was discovered in 1986 off the coast of Shikoku Island, Japan, by the bottom-trawler Seiryo-Maru.
Its generic name derives from the Greek word trigonon (triangle) and gnathus (jaw), while its scientific name Trigonognathus kabeyai pays homage to Hiromichi Kabeya, the captain of the Seiryo-Maru — the vessel that captured the first specimen.