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A wondrous flabby and rare shark has been found off the coast of Scotland. It is called a false catshark or sofa shark, or researchers scientifically call the animal as Pseudotriakis microdon.
Scientists from the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme told The Scotsman that this is the second time in recorded history that they have found the sofa shark in these waters. Previously the animal was spotted 15 years ago.
While talking to the publication, marine biologist Francis Neat said that he was very surprised when the animal landed in their boat. He said that they quickly measured and weighed the animal before sending it back into the water. He added, “It’s not unique to Scotland but it’s certainly interesting to look at—it’s a big and baggy-looking creature [that] looks a lot like a soft, discarded sofa when it’s just lying there”.
The Scottish Shark Tagging Programme has mentioned that the discovery has brought the number of shark species found in Scotland’s waters to 72. The count was 32 species just a few years back.
The sofa shark, a female that is over 6.5 feet long and is weighed around 132 pounds (60 kilograms), which is more than double the weight of the last find in 2000. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a science-based conservation organization, the sharks can reach a length of nearly 10 feet.
There are many locations worldwide, including Iceland to New Zealand, wherein the bizarre animal has been spotted. As per the IUCN, it primarily lived off the continental and insular slopes at depths of 650 to 6,200 feet.