Region: The northern Atlantic Ocean
Characteristics: This elegant shark is a large and deadly hunter. Considering its
size (averaging 18 to 26 feet in length) and its long flowing fins, the Skirted Shark
is not a fast swimmer. Instead, it hunts via slow stealth attacks. Its graceful fins
allow it to move so soundlessly that its prey almost never knows it is approaching.
Skirted Sharks do not migrate, and have a relatively small home range. It prefers cold and dark environments, usually spending its days between 1800 and 3000 feet below the surface, occasionally feeding on squid and jellyfish. At night, it moves to shallower water to hunt catshark, small whales, and a variety of fish.
This species was first discovered during an exploratory submersible dive in 1998, near the southern tip of Greenland. None were seen again until 2016. No Skirted Shark has ever been photographed or captured. Remains have been found on three occasions since their discovery. One of these, found on the shore of Newfoundland, was estimated to have been over 200 years old when it died.