One of 2009's hot, new species

That's an Eastern Pacific black ghostshark, native to the coast of southern California. It's one of 94 new species the California Academy of Sciences documented in 2009. Ghostsharks (or chimaeras) are, unsurprisingly, related to sharks, but only distantly. Their evolutionary path branched away from their better-known cousins some 400 million years ago. What makes them different? Among other things, retractable sexual appendages on the foreheads of the males.

California Academy of Sciences: New Species of "Ghostshark" Named By Academy Researchers
Treehugger: 94 New Species Described by the California Academy of Sciences in 2009


  1. “Among other things, retractable sexual appendages on the foreheads of the males.”
    Quite literally a Dick Head!

  2. Candygram!

    Seriously, though… Maggie, you are a fount. Ghostsharks? What next! I just got Be Amazing! for Christmas and look forward to reading it.

  3. My next-door neighbor’s not only an all-around cool guy and talented artist but also the biggest ratfish fan I’ve ever known (thanks to some marine biologists who are fans he’s even got a ratfish species named after him — hydrolagus trolli) Thanks to him I’ve developed a mild (compared to him, anyway) interest in the odd-looking but fascinating critters. They really are quite interesting.

    Seattle-area art fans with a fondness for interesting zoological and paleontological specimens might want to check out his exhibit “Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway”, currently at the Burke Museum on the University of Washington campus. ( )

  4. And when all the “good” species are fished-out, we will be calling it the “yum yum fish”, in the same way that the gross-sounding Patagonain Toothfish is now the delicious Chilean Sea Bass.

  5. Either a new definition,”double-header” (baseball ?), or “Now you can see where you are … and going”.

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