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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245 Comments
  • quack1234
    quack12346 days
    ITS SO CUTEEE! ❤️
    • potatoandahalf
      cool thingy
      • max14
        max1417 days
        Yea, looks cool, but he died.
        • alex2
          alex218 days
          It was so cute
          • abbu
            abbu20 days
            I thin it was sad that it died!Because it was very cute 😢
            • minecrafter68
              this is awsome =
              • peep1ok
                peep1ok22 days
                It's an interesting fish, It really was sad when I found out it was dead, for a second I had visions of visiting it a an aquarium!
                • iamrobot
                  iamrobot27 days
                  Amazing nature.
                  • castus
                    castus28 days
                    I was sad when i found it was dead rip pig fish
                    • natyes
                      natyesabout 1 month
                      It's actually really cute!