A shark that looks reminiscent of a pig has caught the attention of naval officials on Elba, an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea not far from Tuscany. The animal was found floating, apparently dead, and then taken to the dock.
According to the local portal Tuscany News, the fish is a rough-angled shark, better known as “pig shark” in some regions, and its scientific name is Oxynotus centrina. The species is characterized by physical peculiarities such as a flat head, wide-spaced eyes and, of course, a muzzle. But that’s not all.
“It’s commonly called ‘pig shark’ because when it comes out of the water, it emits a sort of grunt,” said Yuri Tiberto, from Elba Aquarium, to the Tuscany News.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species, sharks are abundant in the Mediterranean, where their dorsal fins and relatively large bodies make them vulnerable to fishing operations.
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Because of this, shark populations have been declining for decades and the species is considered vulnerable (a safer place than “endangered” on the Red List scale).
In July 2019, another odd-looking shark, born without skin or teeth, was found in Mediterranean waters by local fishermen. Amazingly, the animal lived to be 3 years old.