Spotted Ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei) - Wiki
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[Photo] Spotted Ratfish, Bischoff Island, British Columbia, Canada. Image taken by Clark Anderson/Aquaimages.
The spotted ratfish, Hydrolagus colliei, is a chimaera found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Often seen by divers at night in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, this unique shark relative gets its characteristic name from a pointed rat-like tail. The ratfish lays leathery egg cases on the bottom of sandy/mud areas which are often mistaken by divers as something inanimate. The bane of fishermen, a shallow water sighting of this fish often turns an uneventful muddy dive into an interesting encounter.
This unusual fish has smooth skin and large green eyes with a rabbit-like face. Ranging in depth from 40 - 3000 feet, these fish survive on a diet of shrimp, worms, small crustaceans, clams and small fish, which they grind and eat with a plate-like mouth very similar to that of a skate. They also have a venomous spine located on the front of their dorsal fin. Other relatives of this interesting fish include the Australian ghost shark, or elephant fish (Callorhinchus milii).
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