What sets the black ghost shark apart from other sharks?



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    “Ghost shark” is the common name for fish of the “chimaeriforme” order (latin for ‘like mythic creatures’).  Although the chimaeriforme, which include three distinct families, are related to the sharks, they are, in fact, of a different aquatic order entirely, the selachimorpha order (latin for shark-like).  The black ghost shark is a member of the hydrolagus genus of chimaeriform.  Hydrolagus means “water-rabbit”–so called because the teeth of members of this genus resemble those of rabbits.  The specific species of black ghost shark is “hydrolagus melanophasma” (black-ghost water-rabbit).  It is distinguished from other members of the hydrolagus genus by its jet-black color and a mace-like club on its head known as a tentaculum.

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