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

By

305 Words 2-Minute Listen
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

Get the Workbook for this article!

Workbook contains: Article, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking Questions, Vocabulary in Context (+ answers), Multiple Choice Quiz (+ answers), Parts of Speech Quiz (+ answers), Vocabulary Game (+ answers)
Cite Article
210 Comments
  • miko60
    miko606 days
    It was fun learning about this pink fish that is bigger than a door. I can't elieve it can get bigger than a door.
    • shadow123424
      this is really interesting
      • tysonisepic157
        It is so cute
        • zoro1212
          zoro12127 days
          this is kinda cute but interesting
          • shadow123424
            so crazy cool like wooooooooooooooooooooow
            • shadow123424
              this is amazing cause when hav u ever found a pig face shark
              • dogefan1919
                its crazy that this is NORMAL.
                • muigoku
                  muigoku8 days
                  Epic
                  • rx_cle
                    rx_cle8 days
                    Interesting Shark! :D
                    • shiva122609
                      nice