Ah, chimaeras. We love them here at The Fins United Initiative! It’s just too bad that there aren’t more species and usually there isn’t a lot of the ones we do know. But we want to talk about a little known one today, the Cuban chimaera (Chimaera cubana).
A regional endemic found in the Western Central Atlantic, specifically the Caribbean off the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the lesser Antilles and the country of Columbia. This species could possibly be more widespread in the Caribbean but we aren’t exactly sure. Like other chimaeras, it prefers deep waters and this species is known from 885 to 1476 feet (270 to 450 meters) in the Caribbean, and perhaps even deeper elsewhere.
This species is not commercially targeted or utilized but may be potentially threatened because they are caught as bycatch in deepwater longline fisheries off Columbia. But, like many other chimaeras, nothing is known of their population size, structure or life history although according to the IUCN page, “recent captures from Columbia indicate the aggregation of this species in specific habitats perhaps for feeding or reproduction.” Speaking of, the IUCN has assessed these animals as Data Deficient (DD).
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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