A rare long-nosed chimaera was caught in Canada’s Davis Strait. Although it was initially thought to be goblin shark, a researcher with the Ocean Tracking Network identified the creature as a rarely seen species.
A fisherman aboard a Nunavut vessel caught the unusual fish. He posted photos online, which led to wild speculation about the fish’s origin and identification.
Researcher Nigel Hussey eventually identified the mysterious creature. He said “only one of these fish has previously been documented” in the area. As reported by CBC, the actual number of long-nosed chimaeras in the strait is unknown. The fish usually stay thousands of feet below the surface.
Hussey said the fish may be plentiful in deeper waters:
“Potentially, if we fish deeper… we could find that’s there’s actually quite a lot of them there. We just don’t know.”
Hussy points out that the fish is not to be confused with the knifenose chimaera, which is often referred to as a longnose.
Long-nosed chimaeras, or Rhinochimaeridae, are similar to both sharks and stingrays. They are a family of cartilaginous fish.
Their technical name is composed of Greek words, which translate into “nose monster.” Unlike most fish, they have an exceptionally long snout. Nerve endings inside the snout assist the unusual creature with finding food, which consists mainly of small fish.
The mysterious fish grow to a maximum of 4.6 foot long. They are usually found in waters up to 6,600 foot deep. They are most plentiful in tropical and temperate waters.
As explained by Huffington Post, the unusual fish have a venomous spike on their front dorsal fin. The spike is only mildly venomous, and is used only in defense.
The long-nosed chimaera remain a mystery, as they are rarely seen. Although they look very frightening, they pose little or no threat to humans.
[Image via Wikimedia]