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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Return of the phantom stranger

It's always fascinating and exciting to see footage of marine life that you would never get to see in real life. In this instance the MBARI have some of the best recorded footage of the ghost shark known as a pointy-nosed blue chimaera.

 
Ghost sharks, or what marine biologists call chimaeras, are a family of unusual fishes whose bodies are stiffened not by bones, but by plates and bone-like bits of cartilage. The animals may be rare, but there are about 38 species of chimaeras around the world.

Technically speaking, chimaeras are not sharks, having diverged from a common ancestor some 400 million years ago. These creatures, which are also related to rays, are veritable living fossils, confined to depths as low as 8,500 feet (2,600 meters).

Link: HERE