New species of sharks and chimaera continue to be found in New Zealand waters, especially in the unexplored deep. This black chimaera was brought to the surface during the 2003 New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries and Australian National Oceans Office (NORFANZ) expedition, where deep trawls were carried out in the Tasman Sea along a ridge of underwater seamounts. The animal’s watery flesh is typical of all deep-water sharks and fish. Because food and oxygen are scarce, creatures of the deep conserve energy by remaining inactive; they have no need for dense muscle. And by being of a similar density to the surrounding water, they do not have to swim constantly to avoid sinking, as do more dense shark species.
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This image has been provided courtesy of the NORFANZ partners – Australia’s National Oceans Office and CSIRO and New Zealand’s Ministry of Fisheries and NIWA. The use of this image does not imply the endorsement of the NORFANZ partners of the content of this entry.