GHOST sharks date back long before the dinosaurs – but only recently have scientists been able to study them.
Now, a baby Chimaera has been found 1200m off the coast of New Zealand, creating new possibilities to learn more about the mysterious ocean creature.
What is a deep sea ghost shark?
The ghost shark is given its nickname because of its deadly eyes as well as its winged fins.
Its real name is a chimaera.
Unlike large whites and hammerheads, chimaeras do not have hundreds of sharp teeth.
Instead, they target much smaller prey – crushing them using the mineral plates they have instead of teeth.
They live in the cold deep waters around New Zealand and eastern Australia but can be found elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
Males have a retractable female penis sticking in and out of foreheadlike “a club with thorns at the end of a tree”.
How big are they?
Ghost sharks can grow up to 150 cm (4.9 ft) in length and can live up to 30 years.
Scientists have found strange specimens since the 1960s.
It wasn’t until experts scoured the shelves for “pickled dead fish” that the East Pacific black ghost shark was recognized as a new species of its own.
The ghost shark is said to use its wing-like fins to “fly” through its dark habitat.
Where does the green chimaera live?
An extremely rare baby chimaera was found in a shallow fishery off the east coast of New Zealand during a recent ocean floor survey.
Kiwi scientists have discovered a newly hatched ghost shark at a depth of 1,200m in the Chatham Rise River.
Aquatic scientist Brit Finucci, who was part of the team that made the discovery, said finding the ghost shark would help better understand the biology and ecology of this fish.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “Most deepwater ghost sharks are known adult specimens; infants are not frequently reported so we know very little about them.”
Another ghost shark was dragged 67,000 feet by divers into the depths of the ink-black ocean off the coast of California and Hawaii in 2016 on camera.
Dave Ebert, program director of the Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, said divers came across the shark by accident.
“It was almost a bit of a humour,” he said.
“It would jump up and nose up out of the camera and swim around and back.”
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California shared a video of the fish in their natural habitat with National Geographic.
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/326696/deep-sea-ghost-shark-blue-chimaera-habitat/ What are ghost sharks and how big are they? – Irish Sun