Italian sailors noticed an unusual creature in the waters of the Elba island: a fish with a shark’s body and a “pig’s face”.
They dragged her ashore, photographed her and left her at the port office. The pictures were published by the local tourism page.
Despite such a discouraging appearance, the fish has long been known to science: it is the Atlantic centrina, or pig shark which until recently was considered a vulnerable species, and its status has been revised for the worse – now pig sharks are recognized as endangered.
Ovoviviparous shark feeds on mollusks and plankton. It belongs to the genus of three-edged sharks, all of which are characterized by a flattened head with large, close-set nostrils, and gill openings (squiggles) behind the eyes.
She was nicknamed “Pig” because of the grunting sounds that the fish makes.
The fish caught by the sailors already had injuries incompatible with life. Most likely, she collided with some kind of swimming device.
This species prefers life at the bottom, at a depth of 100 to 700 meters, and usually does not approach the coast. Even if people left a wounded shark in the water, it is unlikely to survive.
The fact that a rare representative of the marine fauna came into the field of human sight is an alarming signal – and a reason to once again think about the protection of marine ecosystems.