Welp, it happened again. Another #diverseChondrichthyan means there isn’t a lot of research done on this one we’re about to showcase! But that doesn’t mean it deserves any less of your love—because chimaeras need love too (it’s a hashtag on Twitter, yo). We don't have a reliable picture of this chimaera.
As you can probably guess, the Ninespot chimaera (Hydrolagus barbourin) is listed as Data Deficient (DD) by the IUCN. They are only found around Japan and the South China Sea, making them endemic to this region in the Northwest Pacific ocean. Like other chimaeras, they prefer to swim in the open seas in the deep, dark, depths (specifically a depth range of 100-1,100 metres). A decently-sized chimaera, they can get up to 60 cm in total length (TL)! They are oviparous like other chimaeras, and lay eggs that pretty thorny-looking. Sort of look like horns, to be honest.
Little else is known about the biology of this species, but according to the IUCN website they are commonly caught by research trawls in their range so they could be abundant. That’s great to hear!
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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