Scientists have captured the rare deep sea Ghost Shark for the first time on video
As much as great white sharks are feared in the ocean, equally scary are the smaller cousins the rare pointy nose Chimaera which is not usually seen by man. The Blue chimaeras spotted ten years ago rarely swims in surface waters and is habituated to living in the deep recesses of the ocean floor. However it has again be spotted in the North Pacific Ocean.
Also called Ray Troll’s Chimaera or the abysmal deep sea ghost shark, these stunning creatures of the deep are not easy to find. It was indeed a remarkable sight to have finally been able to film the rare blue chimaeras in its habitat.
1 Chimaeras were first identified in 2002
The pointy nose chimaeras were seen in the waters of California and Hawaii. The pale blue color and a pointy snout is what gives them their name.
The rare species was first identified in 2002 when 23 species of related fish were captured near the Caledonian coast. These were also identified with specimens caught in the waters of the southwestern Pacific near Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand.
2 Named after marine artist Ray Troll
According to scientists chimaeras were deep sea ghost sharks an off shot of their relative’s white sharks and rays. Known by their scientific name Hydrolagus Trolli or Ray Troll’s chimaeras, they were so called because of artist Ray Troll an Alaskan artist who was fascinated by the creatures and all sea creatures.
Pointy nose chimaeras or deep sea ghost shark like living on rocky outcrops at depths of 2.000 to 6,500 feet. It was a stroke of good luck that researchers from MBARI (Monterey bay Aquarium Research) got to film one using a remote operated vehicle positioned off the coast of California and Hawaii.
3 Features of a chimaera
What is unique about chimaeras is the fact that they have sex organs on foreheads which can be retracted. Their teeth are not jagged like sharks but rather they have mineralized plates for teeth used for munching on prey.
The chimaeras are at the most 4 feet in length with dead hollow eyes and fins that resemble wings. They sense prey through sensory cells located on lateral line canals on their head and face. Deep sea ghost sharks love worms, mollusks and small deep sea creatures. In the video you can watch the beautiful chimaeras swimming in its natural habitat.