The Goblin Shark

By: Grant Goodman

Stats and Facts

Classification Order

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Chondrichthyes
  • Subclass: Elasmobranchii
  • Order: Lamniformes
  • Family: Mitsukurinidae
  • Genus: Mitsukurina
  • Species: Mitsukurina owstoni

Length: 10-13 ft.

Weight: 300-500 lbs.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Movement Type: Swimming

Movement Speed: Unknown

Other Info

Goblin shark was first discovered in the late 1800's but even today little is known about this exceptionally odd creature. Although it is not definite, the goblin shark is thought to be related to another ancient species of shark called Scapanorhynchus that lived in the Cretaceous period. Goblin sharks live in deep waters all throughout the world, they have been found off the coasts of Mexico, South America, France, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand most commonly at depths from 800 to 3000 feet deep. The Goblin shark is a carnivore and its diet consists mainly of shrimp, fish, octopus, squid, and some crabs. Scientists cannot be certain, due to the fact that so little has been observed of the Goblin shark, it is speculated that the Goblin shark leads a solitary life as they have only ever been found alone. No pregnant female has ever been captured, but records have shown that mature females visit the east coast of a Honshu during spring and this could very well be related to their mating.

Interesting Facts

  • The Goblin shark uses hundreds of sensors on it's long nose to find the electrical current of other living things which is how it finds its prey in deep dark waters. These sensors can detect as little as one ten millionth of a volt.

  • The Goblin shark's jaw isn't a run of the mill jaw, when the Goblin shark goes in for the kill it's jaw will spring forward like a bear trap and tear it's pray apart with its vicious razor sharp curved teeth while the jaw retracts back into it's mouth.

  • There have been as little as 50 Goblin Shark sightings ever recorded.