The Mysterious, Rarely Seen 'Ghost Shark' Filmed In Deep Water For The First Time Ever (Video)
(Photo : National Geographic/YouTube screenshot)
Scientists captured in a video the mysterious "ghost shark" known as chimaera, which is informally referred to as ratfish, spook fish and rabbit fish. The video was taken in 2009, but it was just released recently by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
The filming was led by Lonny Lundsten from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and other colleagues. They sent an ROV, or the remotely operated vehicle, off the waters of central California and Hawaii. It filmed footage from depths of about 6,700 feet. The team was surprised to see on the film a species of ghost shark, which was thought to be caught in the southwestern Pacific Ocean only, according to NDTV.
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According to chimaera experts, who watched the video, the filmed ghost shark belongs to the pointy nosed blue chimaera species (Hydrolagus trolli). This was the first recording made of the creature. It is also thought that the species only swim the waters off the coast of Australia and New Zealand.
The experts are now trying and recovering DNA evidence from the said ghost shark or the pointy nosed chimaera. This is to know more its identity and confirm that the said creature lives in the waters off the United States. They would also do this by having visits to fishermen's markets and have a look at their catches, according to IFL Science.
Chimaeras are cartilaginous fishes, which are the closest living relatives of sharks. They believe to have existed 400 million years ago and have been isolated ever since. Currently, they are confined to deep water with a depth of about 8,500 feet. Ghost sharks have elongated, soft bodies, with a bulky head and a single gill opening. They are about 150 cm (4.9 feet) in length.