May 9, 2014 5:27 pm

WATCH: Rare megamouth shark dissected in front of onlookers in Japan

A rare megamouth shark caught off the coast of Japan was dissected in front of more than one thousand onlookers this week.

Only 57 megamouth sharks have been seen by humans. Thirteen of the sightings have been reported off the coast of Japan. The shark is so rare that when the first megamouth was captured in 1976, a whole new shark family, genus, and species had to be created.

The shark was caught near Shizouka, Japan, and an autopsy of the beast was conducted by the Marine Science Museum in front of 1,500 people.

Megamouth sharks are similar to the whale shark and basking shark, feeding off plankton.

The four-metre shark weighed 680 kilograms and was caught at a depth of 790 metres. Megamouths can grow up to 5 metres long.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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