Goblin Shark - Origin, Characteristics and Diet

Shark-goblin: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Within the group of chondrichthyans, we find various fish of the type...

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Within the group of chondrichthyans, there are various cartilaginous type fish. Among these are the dreaded sharks that have fascinated mankind for ages. These animals have highly developed senses that allow them to detect, through certain chemical and physical mechanisms, both their prey and changes in the aquatic environment. Today, at PlanèteAnimal, we invite you to discover a file dedicated to the goblin shark, its characteristics, its diet and its habitat. Read on to learn all about this unique and special species!


  • Africa
  • America
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Oceania
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Spain
  • United States
  • France
  • Guinea
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Japan
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Senegal
  • Suriname
  • Taiwan

Origin of the Goblin Shark

" What is known about the goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni), dates back to 1898, when it was caught in the Kuroshio Current, a current in the northwest Pacific Ocean, near the coasts of Japan.This specimen, which was caught by a fisherman, measured one and a half meters and was called Ichigo, which in Japanese means horned shark or the one who protects."

Globe Shark Features

Here are the main characteristics of the goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni):

  • The goblin shark belongs to the Mitsukurinidae family of which it is the only member living today; it is also the only species of the genus.
  • It has a lineage of over 100 million years, so it's a very old species.
  • It measures around 4 meters or less and females are usually larger than males.
  • The weight of this shark is about 200 kg.
  • They have a fearsome appearance, not least because of their distinctive, broad, flattened muzzle that protrudes from the top of their head.
  • It is believed that its muzzle allows it to identify low-intensity electrical signals emitted by the animals it feeds on.
  • Its jaws are movable, allowing the shark to extend them to capture prey.
  • It has a rubbery appearance to its scales, unlike other sharks.
  • The skin color is pink. This is due to the lack of pigment and the proximity of its blood vessels to the upper layers of skin tissue.
  • Its teeth are shaped like fine fangs.
  • The dorsal fins are similar in shape and size (rounded and small).
  • The pelvic and anal fins are larger and their base is elongated.
  • Another characteristic that it shares with some sharks is the absence of the lower lobe of the caudal fin.

Goblin Shark Habitat

This species has not been really studied, however, it is known to have a wide range that covers almost the entire planet: from America and Asia to Africa , Europe and Oceania. Even so, the presence is not believed to be uniform.

It lives on the outer continental shelves and also on the upper slopes. It generally does not travel to seamounts. It typically travels between depths of 270 to 960 meters, although it can also dive much deeper than 1,300 meters.

If you want to know more about Where do sharks live? Do not hesitate to consult this other article!

Habits of the Goblin Shark

Estimates indicate that due to his body type, he moves very slowly. It is also believed that the animal is most active in the morning and afternoon, which coincides with the period of activity of its prey. Due to the depths at which it is found, it generally lives in dark areas and even its few movements to the surface tend to be at night, so it has poor eyesight. He mainly uses his ability to pick up chemistry and electricity.

Goblin Shark Feeding

The goblin shark is a carnivorous fish that mainly uses its electrical sensors and olfactory sensors to detect its prey. It mainly hunts vertically moving fish, but it has been seen hunting on the seabed.

This species feeds on other fish, squid, crabs and a type of crustacean from the ostracod group. Due to their slow movements, they are not active predators like other large sharks, but rather slowly approach their prey and then, when close, they use their protractile jaws with which they capture the prey.

Reproduction of the goblin shark

So far, the reproductive biology of the goblin shark is absolutely unknown. On the one hand, because there are not enough specimens observed in their natural environment, on the other hand, there are also no recordings of pregnant females which have allowed a study of the process.It is estimated that males reach sexual maturity between 260 and 380 cm, while for females they will need to be at least over 400 cm.

Like other sharks of the order Lamniformes, it is very likely that the young develop completely inside the mother and that they are oophagous, that is to say that they feed on other eggs and, once hatched, on other unfertilized eggs. The number of offspring should be small and, as is usually the case with sharks, it is more than likely that once born they will be completely independent.

Conservation status of the goblin shark

The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the goblin shark as Least Concern. Additionally, its demographic trend is unknown. It is not common for adult individuals to be caught in fishing nets as they are usually out of reach.However, the problem is different with young individuals, which are usually taken incidentally, proving to be at depths where the meshes are present.

The meat of this shark is not traded, but it has been indicated that its jaws are sought after by collectors. There are no particular actions for its conservation, but it is necessary to expand research to learn more about the biology of this animal and thus be able to establish actions in the future.

Pixie Shark Pictures

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