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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Chimaeras

Now I am sure a lot of you out there like to fish. We all know the sea contains untold numbers of strange and bizarre creatures. It is said that we know more about our own solar system than we know about our oceans. Indeed, some creatures of the sea can seem more alien than anything you can imagine. But even worse, some of them can seem more frightening than your worst nightmare.

Chimaeras are cartilaginous fish just like sharks and rays, and are sometimes called ghost sharks or rabbitfishes. Most chimaeras have a venomous spine located in front of the dorsal fin for defense. This strange cartilaginous fish uses its long snout to scan over the sea floor for the electrical impulses of its prey that bury in the muddy sea floor, just like a cool metal detector. Like other chimaeras (such as ghost and elephant sharks), these animals lay horny egg cases in which their young are left to develop, potentially for up to one year. And yes, they do look like some prehistoric little dinosaur. This is  just one of many unknown monsters that lurk in the murky waters of our imaginations. So if you thought it was safe to go back in the water...Think Again!


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