Part of the Chimaeridae family, our next deep-sea critter happens to be found in the eastern Pacific region (most observations in Costa Rican and Peru waters). But first, a quick #finfact! Did you know that ‘chimaera’ is Latin for “marine monster”? It certainly doesn’t look like a monster to us!
The Eastern Pacific black chimaera, scientifically known as Chimaera orientalis, prefers the deep waters like others in their family. Having a depth range of 560-1138 meters, little is known about this critter. A male specimen measured a total of 17.6cm total length (TL), so it is a decent-sized animal. Like the common name states, it is a black to dark-brown colour, with their underbelly and their fins all being even a darker shade.
Another #finfact about this chimaera: they have an anal fin! It’s what sets them apart from other chimaeras that look like it. Well, that and they have a long dorsal spine that is longer than their first dorsal fin (which is pretty high, even with a short base). We know nothing else about their biology, and the IUCN has not even assessed them!
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.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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