Very little literature exists for this next demersal shark: the Hawaiian lanternshark (Etmopterus villosus). If you guessed by the scientific name that it is a lanternshark, you would be correct! Endemic to Molokai in Hawaii, they are found on or near the bottom here at about 406-911 metres depth and therefore scientists and conservationists aren’t worried about fishing pressure. They are known from only a handful of specimens, and have a maximum total length of 46 cm (1.5 ft).
While there aren’t a lot of chimaeras that have been described, it doesn’t mean they deserve the spotlight any less than their relatives, the sharks, skates, and rays. Today at TFUI, we’ll talk about the whitespot ghost shark (Hydrolagus alphus) which was first described in 2006 by four researchers. The common name is actually a nod to the species name, alphus, which is Latin and refers to the spot on the skin of this chimaera.
We’re excited to introduce to you the Galápagos ghostshark (Hydrolagus mccoskeri)! While we don’t think we really need to state where you can find this chimaera (since it’s already in the name), we can tell you that according to the IUCN, it frequents "areas of high rocky relief containing volcanic boulders, cobbles, and pebbles, interspersed with patches of sand and silt."
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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