Chimaera monstrosa
Chimaera monstrosa, also known as the rabbit fish or rat fish, is a species of fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 in the Chimaeridae
The Chimaeridae, or shortnose chimaeras are a family of cartilaginous fish.They resemble other chimaeras in general form and habits, but have a short, rounded, snout, without the modifications found in related families. Many species have a long tapering tail, given them an alternative name of ratfish...


Anatomy and appearance

The rat fish can grow up to 1.5 meters long, and weigh 2.5 kg. The color is brown, with marmor-white stripes in all directions. The eyes are big with a green lens. The Lateral line
Lateral line
The lateral line is a sense organ in aquatic organisms , used to detect movement and vibration in the surrounding water. Lateral lines are usually visible as faint lines running lengthwise down each side, from the vicinity of the gill covers to the base of the tail...

 can be seen clearly on the head. On the dorsal fin
Dorsal fin
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

 the rat fish has a poisonous spike, that can cause a lot of pain.

Distribution and habitat

The rat fish lives on depths from 50–1000 meters. Sick or dying fish are sometimes observed in shallower water. Distribution is from the eastern-Atlantic, from west-Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 all the way up to northern-Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 and Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

. They are also reported in the western parts of the Mediterranean sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. Another species located south of Africa is also possibly a Rat Fish.
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