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HomeFact CheckViral Video Not Of 80-Million-Year-Old Shark, But Species That Dates Back To...

Viral Video Not Of 80-Million-Year-Old Shark, But Species That Dates Back To Prehistoric Times

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Claim

A prehistoric 80-million-year-old “frilled shark” discovered in Awashima, Japan.

The archived version of the tweet can be seen here.

Fact

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “frilled shark Awashima”, which led us to multiple news reports, seen here, here and here, dating back to January 2007, about a rare frilled shark that was captured live by fishermen off the coast of Japan.

According to Reuters, a species of shark rarely seen alive because its natural habitat is 2,000 feet or more under the sea was captured on film by staff at the Awashima Marine Park in Shizuoka, south of Tokyo. They were alerted by a fisherman at a nearby port that he had spotted an “odd-looking eel-like creature with a mouthful of needle-sharp teeth”.

“Marine park staff caught the 5-foot long creature, which they identified as a female frilled shark, sometimes referred to as a ‘living fossil’ because it is a primitive species that has changed little since prehistoric times,” read the article, adding that the shark died a few hours after being caught.

We then found a longer version of the viral clip with this Youtube video, dated January 24, 2007, titled “Prehistoric shark captured on film”, attributing it to Reuters. At the 0.39 mark, a narrator, quoting a marine expert, stated “We have found remains of these frilled sharks in the earth’s layer that are a 80 million years old…”, indicating that it is the species, and not the shark seen in the video, that dates back to prehistoric times.

We then came across multiple writeups on the frilled shark, seen here, here and here, confirming that the species dates back to “the age of dinosaurs”. While looking up the lifespan of a frilled shark, we learnt that scientists estimated it to be around 25 years, confirming that it is not an 80-million-year-old shark seen in the video. The write-ups can be seen here and here.

Result: Partly False 

Sources
Reuters news report, January 24, 2007
Youtube video, January 24, 2007


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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