The newfound ghostshark belongs to the "big black chimeras," a group whose species number has exploded in recent years, thanks to improved diagnostic techniques, according to the new study, published in the September issue of the journal Zootaxa.
Chimeras display some unusual features not seen in other living animals, Long said.
Male chimeras, for example, have retractable sexual appendages sprouting from their foreheads. These organs, which resemble a spiked club at the end of a stalk, may be used to stimulate a female or to pull her closer—though these are still assumptions, Long said.
(image credit: MBARI)