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Published on : Thursday, November 21, 2013
In a rare incident a 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 refuted that and 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 which 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 long-nose.
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 generally grow to a maximum of 4.6 foot long. They are usually found in waters up to 6,600 foot deep and are most plentiful in tropical and temperate waters.