Another day, another chimaera! This one you can find in the Southeast Atlantic around Africa. Specifically, from off Namibia, around the Cape of Good Hope and eastwards to along South Africa. Any clue of what this animal is?
If you guessed the Cape chimaera (Chimaera notafricana) then you are correct! Woo! #Finfact: the chimaeras (Chondrichthyes: Chimaeriformes) are a group of deep-sea fishes comprised of three distinct families, Callorhinchidae (plow-nose chimaeras), Rhinochimaeridae (long-nose chimaeras), and Chimaeridae (short-nose chimaeras). In southern Africa, all three families are represented among the seven species that are currently recognized as occurring in this region! In fact, records of a Chimaera species occurring in the seas off southern Africa date back to 1865!!
Described from specimens collected off the west and south coasts of southern Africa, they’re different from Rabbit fish (Chimaera monstrosa) by several morphometric characters and their coloration. Preserved specimens of the cape chimaera is a uniform blackish-brown color with dark blue streaking on their body. Their precaudal tail has longitudinal light and dark stripes, too! We don’t know much else about this animal- in fact, an IUCN profile for them doesn’t even exist.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THIS ANIMAL?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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