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."
This chimaera has a small head with a short, blunt snout. It is brown in colour with numerous irregular white blotches; its underbelly is either white or tan and has extremely fine brown mottling. The maximum length so far noted for this species has been for a female, who measured 38.1 cm total length (TL). These chimaeras are found at a depth range of 396 - 506 metres deep, preferring the cold, dark bathypelagic world. They probably eat worms, shrimp, crabs, and mollusks that live in this area, similar to the whitespot ghost shark (Hydrolagus alphus). It is possible they are endemic to these islands, but that has yet to be confirmed by researchers. Thankfully, if it is, their range is protected since it is a part of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. It is listed as Data Deficient (DD) by the IUCN.
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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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