A new species related to the shark has been discovered in Southern California. Not only does this bad boy have a venomous spine and retractable sexual appendages on the forehead, but it's got one bad ass name: meet Ghostshark.
Physorg has the report from the Zootaxa journal detailing this clever little descendant from the sharks, chimaera, who has been around since the days of the dinosaurs. The new chimaera has been found off the coast of Southern California and Baja California, Mexico.
More about the new species, technically called Hydrolagus melanophasma:
Like sharks, chimaeras have skeletons composed of cartilage and the males have claspers for internal fertilization of females. Unlike sharks, male chimaeras also have retractable sexual appendages on the forehead and in front of the pelvic fins and a single pair of gills. Most species also have a mildly venomous spine in front of the dorsal fin. Chimaeras were once a very diverse and abundant group, as illustrated by their global presence in the fossil record. They survived through the age of dinosaurs mostly unchanged, but today these fishes are relatively scarce and are usually confined to deep ocean waters, where they have largely avoided the reach of explorers and remained poorly known to science.
You say chimaeras I say....
Snork. Come on how is that not some crazy cousin of the Snork? Still that's one bad ass genitalia rocking chimaeras, with possibly the best name in the ocean. More proof that evolution works.