Chimaera from the Deep

This rarely seen smalleyed rabbitfish, belongs to the order Chimaera. Chimaeras are related to sharks and are cartilaginous animals—they have no real bones.
(© David Shale)

This rarely-seen smalleyed rabbitfish (Hydrolagus affinis), belonging to the order of Chimaera, was caught during a research trip to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 2004 sponsored by the Census of Marine Life. In Greek mythology, chimeras were beasts that were part lion, part snake and part goat, although deep sea Chimaeras are not a combination of animals. Rather, they are related to sharks, but not very closely: the two groups separated evolutionarily around 400 milion yeras ago.