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Biologists have gone to great lengths to describe the long-nosed chimaera, whose kind can reach five feet in length. Its stiletto-like nose reminded one of "the nose contour of a supersonic jet aircraft." Others have dubbed it "rattail," for obvious reasons. In South Africa, it is known as the "ghost shark," though it is only distantly related to sharks. A touch of the venomous spine on the first dorsal fin can kill a person, though such a fate is unlikely given the 8,000-foot depths at which this creature lives.
Including its long, tapering snout and fins, this species is usually between 1 and 1.5m long. Its body is more elongate than the other chimaerids. Its snout is hard and resilient, and rich in sensory organs, being used to dig in soft muddy bottoms in search of shellfish and crustaceans that make up the bulk of its diet. Its skin is orange-brown in colour, paler beneath, and it has some irregular darker markings. It is commonly found in waters between 350 and 700m depth.
A touch of the venomous spine on the first dorsal fin can kill a person, though such a fate is unlikely given the 8,000-foot depths at which this creature lives.