Strange fish caught in Arctic waters identified as rare species

Scott Sutherland
Geekquinox

When fishermen recently pulled a strange-looking creature from the waters between Baffin Island and Greenland, they had to turn to the internet to find out what it was. It apparently wasn't an easy search for the answer, given the rarity of this fish, but it was a University of Windsor researcher who solved the mystery.

What was originally thought to be a goblin shark, actually turned out to be a rare long-nosed chimaera, or Rhinochimaeridae. It was finally identified by Nigel Hussey, a post-doc researcher at the University of Windsor, who also works with the Ocean Tracking Network.

"Only one of these fish has previously been documented from the Hudson Strait," Hussey told CBC News. "Potentially, if we fish deeper, maybe between 1,000 and 2,000 metres, we could find that's there's actually quite a lot of them there. We just don't know."

These fish can grow up to a metre and a half long, and are found throughout the Earth's oceans, living in dark depths as far as 2 kilometres down. This video below, filmed by researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), shows one swimming in the wild:

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With that long, pointed snout, you might think that this fish has a pretty good way of defending itself. You'd be right, but it has nothing to do with that nose. That's simply used for finding its meals, since it's packed with sensory nerve endings used to locate food in the murky depths. It actually defends itself using a venomous spine 'hidden' in its dorsal fin.

Tricky.

(Photo courtesy: Jutai Korgak/Facebook)

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