Pseudotriakis microdon, often called “false catshark” or “sofa shark”, are normaly uncommon innovations for their practice of hanging out close to the underpart pacific.
Properly known as a false catshark, the latest one was pulled up by scientists off the Hebrides, an archipelago off Scotland’s northwest coast.
Sofa sharks are a unique creature that presents itself with an unappealing aspect. The sofa shark may look like a “couch potato” because it’s big and baggy, but don’t be fooled by its looks.
The strange-looking shark has drawn unfavorable comparisons to the blobfish, which was dubbed the world’s ugliest animal in 2013. This was twice the weight of the only other catshark seen near the same area 15 years ago.
“I was pretty surprised when it landed in our boat”.
The Scottish Shark Tagging Programme announced on its website that it is adding the “sofa shark” to the list of elasmobranch species in Scotland, saying that the new addition would bring the total number to 72. “We hadn’t seen one in ten years”. Aside from the expected deep-sea prey consisting of squid, octopus and smaller sharks, they also identified man-made garbage, such as potatoes, plastic bags and soda cans. Reportedly, these species of shark hold a huge oily liver that makes up between 18-25% of their body mass. This places them at an nearly neutral buoyancy, which allows the shark to maintain its chosen depth near the bottom.
“We quickly measured and weighed it before sending it back into the water”. In fact, scientists claim that they have not seen this species in Scottish waters before.
It is only the second time in a decade that the species has been spotted in Scotland. Whether they pick it off the sea floor or near the surface, examinations of sofa sharks have found that the critters will eat just about anything.