chimaera


chimaera
/ki mear"euh, kuy-/, n.
1. any fish of the family Chimaeridae, the male of which has a spiny clasping organ over the mouth.
2. any similar fish of the group Holocephali, which includes this family.
3. chimera.
[1795-1805; see CHIMERA]

* * *

▪ fish taxon
also spelled  chimera , also called  ghost shark 
 any of numerous cartilaginous fishes distantly related to sharks and rays in the class Chondrichthyes but separated from them as the subclass (or sometimes class) Holocephali. Like sharks and rays, chimaeras have cartilaginous skeletons, and the males possess external reproductive organs (claspers) derived from the pelvic fins and used to introduce sperm into the body of the female. Unlike sharks and rays, chimaeras have a single external gill opening, covered by a flap as in the bony fishes, on each side of the body. Male chimaeras, unique among fishes, also possess a supplemental clasping organ, the tentaculum, on the forehead and in front of each pelvic fin.

      Chimaeras are tapered fishes with large pectoral and pelvic fins, large eyes, and two dorsal fins, the first preceded by a sharp spine. They have slender tails, from which the name ratfish, applied to some, has been derived. There are about 28 species of chimaeras, ranging in length from about 60 to 200 centimetres (24 to 80 inches) and in colour from silvery to blackish. The species are placed in three families: Chimaeridae (including the species called rabbit fish), characterized by a rounded or cone-shaped snout; Callorhinchidae (elephant fishes), with an unusual, hoe-shaped, flexible snout; and Rhinochimaeridae (long-nosed chimaeras), with an extended, pointed snout.

      Found in temperate to cold waters of all oceans, chimaeras range from rivers, estuaries, and coastal waters to oceanic depths of 2,500 metres (8,200 feet) or more. They are weak swimmers and are delicate when caught, dying quickly out of water. Their food consists of small fishes and invertebrates. Females lay large, elongated eggs protected by horny coverings. Chimaeras are edible and are sold as food in some areas. Their liver oil once provided a useful lubricant for guns and fine instruments.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chimaera — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Chimère …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chimaera — steht für: eine Gattung aus der Familie der Kurznasenchimären (Chimaeridae), siehe Chimaera (Gattung) einen Meeresfisch, Chimaera monstrosa, die Seekatze einen Asteroiden, siehe Chimaera (Asteroid) einen Ort in Lykien, auf Lateinisch Chimaera,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chimaera — Chi*m[ae] ra, n. [NL. See {Chimera}.] (Zo[ o]l.) A cartilaginous fish of several species, belonging to the order {Chimaeriformes} of the class Holocephali. The teeth are few and large. The head is furnished with appendages, and the tail… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chimaera — chimaera. См. химера. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Chimaera — Chimaera, Fisch, s. Seekatze …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Chimaera — CHIMAERA, æ, Gr. Χίμαιρα, ας, (⇒ Tab. V.) 1 §. Namen. Diesen leiten einige von χεῖμα, der Winter, her, und wollen also, daß er so viel, als eine im Winter gefallene Ziege, heiße, Pasor Ind. in Hesiod. Χίμαιρα. welches aber ziemlich hart und bey… …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • chimaera — [kī mir′ə, kimir′ə] n. [ModL < L] 1. alt. sp. of CHIMERA 2. any of an order (Chimaeriformes) of cartilaginous fishes with a smooth skin and tapering body …   English World dictionary

  • Chimaera — This article is about the cartilaginous fish order. For the namesake genus, see Chimaera (genus). For the mythological beast, see Chimera (mythology). For other uses, see Chimera (disambiguation). Chimaeras Temporal range: Early Devonian… …   Wikipedia

  • Chimaera — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Chimère. Chimaera …   Wikipédia en Français

  • CHIMAERA — I. CHIMAERA mcns Lyciae ignivomus, in cuius cacumine leones habitant: in medio autem, ubi pacuis abundat, caprae; in radicibus autem serpentes. Hinc factus fabulae locus, Chimaeram monstrum esse, quod flammas evomat, caput et pectus leonis habens …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • chimaera — europinė chimera statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Chimaera monstrosa angl. chimaera; ghost shark; rabbitfish; ratfish rus. европейская химера ryšiai: platesnis terminas – chimeros …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.