Sixgill Shark Attack
Taking the scientists' bait, a sixgill shark's attack 4,600 feet (1,400 meters) below the surface of the Coral Sea off Australia (see map) is captured in a new video image.
Reaching roughly 13 feet (4 meters) long, the sixgill shark is among deep-sea species never before filmed at such depths, according to the the Queensland Brain Institute, which released the first images from new high-tech remote-control cameras this week.
Often referred to as prehistoric or a "living fossil" because of its resemblance to sharks that lived hundreds of millions of years ago, sixgills are being studied as part of the Deep Australia Project, an ongoing effort to discover the the evolutionary origins of human sight—making the sixgill's night vision of particular interest to researchers.
(Related: "Hundreds of New Reef Creatures Found in Australia.")
"This technology will help the discovery of deep-sea creatures' adaptations to the challenges of living at crushing depths and in freezing and dark water," project manager Kylie Greig said in a statement.
"Here they must find food and mates in the dark and avoid being eaten themselves. We are interested in the sensory systems used for this lifestyle."
—With reporting by Dave Hansford in Wellington, New Zealand
Pictures: Surprising Creatures Found Deep off Australia
See a "prehistoric" shark, a hairy anglerfish, jellyfish glowing like Avatar extras, and more—dark-adapted oddities of the Deep Australia Project.