Pig-Faced Shark Found In The Mediterranean Sea Becomes An Overnight Sensation

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Italian Naval officers pulled a dead pig-faced shark from the Mediterranean Sea on August 15, 2021 (Credit: Sola d'Elba App/Facebook)

A fish with the body of a shark and the face of a pig may sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie. But that precisely describes the dead shark retrieved from the waters off Italy's Elba Island on August 15, 2021. Not surprisingly, photos of the unusual animal, posted on the Elba Island App Facebook page on September 3, 2021, have caused a stir worldwide. However, locals are not impressed.

Angular roughsharks, aka "pig fish," are common in the eastern Atlantic Ocean — from Norway to South Africa, including the entire Mediterranean Sea. The sharks, which feed on worms, crustaceans, and mollusks, can be found at depths of between 200 and 2,200 feet (60 to 670 meters). While most individuals grow to about 3.3 feet (1 meter) researchers have found ones as long as 4.9 feet (1.5 meters).

The angular roughsharks can be found extensively across the Eastern Atlantic Ocean (Credit: Sola d'Elba App/Facebook)

"This fish is quite frequent in our waters: it is commonly called "pig fish" because when it comes out of the water emits a kind of grunt," Yuri Tiberto, owner of the Elba Aquarium, told the Toscana Media News. "It's capture certainly cannot be said to be exceptional. In fact, in recent years, several other specimens have been caught."

The angular roughsharks' wide-set eyes, flat head, and large, pinkish snout are not their only unique features. They have many other attributes that are not common in other shark species. These include two massive pointed dorsal fins, rough scales, or denticles, on the skin, and prominent ridges over the eyes.

A shark with no skin or teeth found in July 2019 was the first of its kind (Credit: Mulas et al.)

The pig fish is not the only unusual shark recently found in the Mediterranean Sea. In July 2019, fishers pulled up a "naked" shark — one that seemed to be born with no skin or teeth. The one-of-a-kind fish had managed to survive for three years before it died in the fishers' net.

Resources: Livescience.com, wild-facts.com, natureworldnews.com

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219 Comments
  • merkatmichaella
    I think it could be named clarig.
    • lailar09
      lailar094 days
      I think its name should be shig because its a shark and a pig
      • lailar09
        lailar094 days
        its cute and ugly at the same time
        • merkatmichaella
          yeah, I think that too because in some way it is cute, but on another hand it is ugly.
        • hepadyfonejo
          it is so deadly
          • jdfhgtghlw
            this is soooo intrsting{also I couldn't think of a name}
            • area
              area8 days
              its dead? i didn't know worms live in water. there born without skin? Ew!😣
              • izzyi
                izzyi8 days
                awwww so cute 😍
                • jakethesnake947
                  I mean its cute but at the same time it is one ugly mother....
                  • tigergirl1000
                    So cute and chubby i would definitely want it as a pet
                    • yellowkamea3
                      It is very cute but also looks deadly!