Adaptations

In order for the goblin shark to survive and thrive in the deep sea it must have evolved many adaptations.

In water, light attenuation decreases with depth so as you can imagine the deep sea is without light. Like most sharks the Goblin shark has evolved sensors called ampullae of larenzini to help detect prey in the blackness of the deep sea, the difference is that this species has profoundly more dotted around its strange elongated snout . Unlike most other deep sea fish, this species of shark have small eyes with fully functional irises that contract and dilate. This  feature that is common in midwater fish suggests that the shark hunts in shallower depths than previously thought (Uyeno et al 1976).

Mistukurina_owstoni
Fig. 8. Close up of Mitsukurina owstoni snout and mouth. (Image free to use & share)

The M. owstoni has a mouth full of teeth adapted to capture and eat deep sea prey. The teeth of the goblin shark are long yet slender with smooth rounded blades to grasp small prey that has been eaten whole. Furthermore the shark has a very unusual feature, its jaws are highly protrusible and can extend almost the full length of its elongated snout (Fig. 8.). This effectively increases the predators reach.

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