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Species: Rhinochimaera atlantica, Atlantic Knifenose Chimaera, Atlantic Spearnose Chimaera, Straightnose Rabbitfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

top head profile straight
snout straight
male: top C edge + large tubercles
top tooth plates smooth
no A

Rhinochimaera atlantica Holt & Byrne, 1909

Atlantic Knifenose Chimaera, Straightnose Rabbitfish, Atlantic Spearnose Chimaera

Body compressed, elongate, tapering to a filamentous tail; head very large, cylindrical, top profile straight; snout very long (50-66% of body in adults), narrow, conical, base ~triangular & fleshy, tapering to a narrow fleshy point; eyes moderate size (length 5-8% body length in adults); nostrils large, before mouth, connected to outer corner of mouth by a deep groove covered with a flap; mouth under head, well before eyes; teeth are smooth plates, 2 pairs above, 1 pair below; gill opening before pectoral, covered by fleshy operculum; 2 separate dorsal fins; 1st dorsal fin triangular, rear edge concave, spine at front long, extends beyond fin, front keeled, rear edge with serrations along outer 1/3; 2nd dorsal fin close behind 1st dorsal, low, long based, slightly convex edge; anal fin absent; pectoral fins elongate and oval; pelvic fins ovoid; anal fin continuous with lower lobe of tail fin; tail fin elongate, oval, lower lobe much higher and with longer base than very low upper lobe, top lobe very low, fleshy, with 18-33 pairs of sharp denticles (barely visible in female, enlarged in male); tail fin with a whip-like rear filament ( 4-32% of body length); lateral line canals well developed, on head and body noticeably open; skin smooth, no scales; males external sex organ simple, stick-like, tip with a fleshy bulb bearing denticles.

Body light grey-brown to whitish; fins darker; underside of snout and mouth area white.

Reaches 141 cm

Depth range: 400-1849 m.

Found on soft bottoms

Atlantic and southwest Indian Oceans: NE US to French Guiana

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Water column
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Atlantic + Indian Ocean
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 141
Depth Range Min
  • 400
Depth Range Max
  • 1849