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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Chimaeridae (shortnose chimaeras)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Chondrichthyes > Holocephalii > Chimaeriformes

Chimaeras with a short, bluntly pointed or rounded snout, low second dorsal fin, small low anal fin present or absent, and caudal fin with its axis not raised above the body axis. In the area these chimaeras occur in deep water and are dark brown or black, but species in other areas occur close inshore and are silvery or whitish. 22 species, at least 2 in the area.

Species found in southern Africa

Chimaera sp. nov.? (Cape chimaera)

A blackish-brown bluntnose chimaera with a small but distinct anal fin, dorsal fin spine shorter than head, second dorsal fin with a straight upper edge.

Hydrolagus africanus (African chimaera)

A dark brown bluntnose chimaera without an anal fin, dorsal fin spine longer than head, second dorsal fin with a distinct concavity in its middle.

Hydrolagus trolli (Pointynose blue chimaera)


Hydrolagus sp. nov. (Big black chimaera)


Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale