Strange New Species Of Shark With Human-Like Teeth Discovered



A strange new species of shark with human-like teeth was recently discovered in the deep waters off the northeastern Australian coast.

While this new species of shark, called the painted hornshark (Heterodontus marshallae), is similar in appearance to other hornsharks (such as the one pictured above), it does have some unique characteristics.

For instance, the painted hornshark has several rows of teeth including human-like teeth, its molars, that it uses to crush heavy shelled prey like crustaceans and mollusks.

The painted hornshark, while it has similar markings to other species of sharks, especially the Zebra hornshark (Heterodontus zebra), is genetically different from the other nine different species of Heterodontiformes, according to a report published in the journal Diversity.

“Compared to other Australian hornsharks, this species has a distinctive striped pattern,” White said. “This pattern is very similar to the Zebra hornshark and was previously thought to be the same species,” Dr. Will White, research scientist at the Australian National Fish Collection (ANFC), told Live Science.

Zebra hornsharks are also normally found in shallower waters located near Indonesia or Japan, not in the deep waters near Australia.

“Both species are pale with 22 dark brown bands and saddles. But they have small differences in the markings on their snouts and below their gill slits. Their egg cases are also different,” White added in a statement.

The painted hornshark was found in the deep waters (410 to 751 feet below the surface) off the northwestern Australian coast.

“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,” said Helen O’Neill, a fish biologist at the ANFC.

“[Painted hornsharks] tend to sit on the sea floor 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,” O’Neill added.

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