For the first time ever, a ghost shark also known as chimaera has been spotted and it is not just a photo but a whole video of the shark has emerged through a new study published in journal Marine Biodiversity Records.
Researchers point out that while the pointy-nosed blue chimaera was seen for the first time, it is also the first first that it was seen in the Northern Hemisphere as scientists say that these sharks are generally known to have existed in the southern Pacific Ocean off of Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia.
According to the team that found the shark they accidentally filmed the marine animal during a series of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) deep-sea surveys off the California coast and west of the Hawaiian Islands. Further the video was captured by a team of geologists in 2009 and they weren’t looking for the ghost shark.
Dave Ebert, program director for the Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, notes that the team that had filmed the shark reached out to them to to find out what it was. Based on the video evidence and analysis, Elbert and team believe that it’s a pointy-nosed blue chimaera (Hydrolagus trolli), a species usually found near Australia and New Zealand.
While anything can’t be said for certain without actual physical examination of the chimaera, the video evidence does provide a lot of information about the marine species. First is the habitat in which it seems to be comfortable in: the rocky outcrops instead of flat, soft-bottom terrain.
The chimaera doesn’t have a rows of ragged teeth, but instead has mineralized tooth plates. The cells that can sense movement in the water and helps the chimaera locate its prey through a pattern of open channels on their heads and faces, called lateral line canals. One of the most fascinating things about the chimaeras is that the male chimaeras have a retractable sex organs on their foreheads.