Shark Family Tree

Chimaeridae: Ghost sharks (Chimaeras)

Chimaeras or Ghost sharks are not true sharks. Rather, they are the closest living chondrichthyan relatives of sharks, smaller cousins, if you will. In contrast from true sharks, Chimaeras have only one pair of gill openings, one large moveable venomous spine, and three pairs of tooth plates (two upper, one lower).  They branch from the only known living order (Chimaeriformes) of the subclass Holocephali and are much smaller than the typical larger apex predators. There are currently 36 described species in family Chimaeridae, but more are being discovered every year. Chimaeras are  found world-wide as shallow as 60 meters and as deep as 2500 meters.

Profile Species: Rabbitfish (Chimaera monstrosa)
Chimaera monstrosa / Rabbitfish

Chimaera monstrosa / Rabbitfish

Distribution:  Northeast Atlantic to southern Arctic upper continental slopes between 200 and 300 meters. Maximum reported depth around 1600 meters.
Behaviour: Data deficient
Biology: Oviparous.
Diet: Data deficient

*Brought to you by IUCN Redlist