The goblin shark uses a sense system known as ampullae of Lorenzini, found in its snout, for electrodetection of prey. The jaws are modified for rapid projection to aid in the capture of prey. The jaw is thrust forward by a double set of ligaments at the mandibular joints. When the jaws are retracted the ligaments are stretched and they become relaxed when the jaw is projected forward.

The jaws are usually held tightly while swimming and function like a catapult when the animal wants to feed. Its slender narrow teeth suggest it mainly feeds on soft body prey including shrimps, pelagic octopus, fish, and squid. It is also thought to feed on crabs. The posterior teeth are specialized for crushing.

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