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UGLY! Extremely rare fish nabbed for second time ever near Canada

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 20th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

With a face that not even a mother could love, an extremely UGLY looking fish was caught recently off the Arctic waters of northern Canada. After some speculation that the unusual fish could be, researchers identified it as the highly rare long-nosed chimaera.

At first believed to 'goblin shark,' creature was identified as long-nosed chimaera
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sporting a long nose, menacing mouth and a venomous spine atop its gelatinous gray body, the chimaera was caught near the northernmost province of Nunavut in Davis Strait.

At first believing the specimen to be the similarly ugly goblin shark, scientists say that the long-nosed chimaera makes its home at depths not often visited by humans.

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"Potentially, if we fish deeper, maybe between 3,000 to 6,000 feet, we could find that's there's actually quite a lot of them there," University of Windsor researcher Nigel Hussey says. "We just don't know."

Credited with finally identifying the fish, Hussey says the mystery comes from the strange creature's rarity. "Only one of these fish has previously been documented from the Hudson Strait," Hussey said.

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The long-nosed species is a distant relative of sharks and rays. The species also has a whip-like tail and can grow to around three feet long.

A photo of the Davis Straight specimen has gone viral since it was posted online after being caught by a Nunavut fishing boat.

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Going under various names, the chimaera is also known as the ratfish, rabbitfish and ghostsharks.

The species branched off from sharks, its closest relative, around 400 million years ago and have remained a distinct, and distinctly odd, lineage ever since and have been basically unchanged since they shared the Earth with dinosaurs. However, like sharks and rays, chimaeras have a skeleton made of cartilage.

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Most species of chimaera have a mildly venomous spine on their back. The long-nosed chimaera is no exception. Some species of chimaera are even eaten as food in some parts of the world.

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