Rabbit fish

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Not to be confused with Rabbitfish.
Chimaera monstrosa
Chimaera monstrosa haogjydling.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Chimaeriformes
Family: Chimaeridae
Genus: Chimaera
Species: C. monstrosa
Binomial name
Chimaera monstrosa
Linnaeus, 1758

Chimaera monstrosa, also known as the rabbit fish or rat fish, is a species of fish in the Chimaeridae family.[1]

Anatomy and appearance[edit]

Illustration by P. J. Smit

The rabbit fish can grow up to 1.5 m 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 can be seen clearly on the head. On the dorsal fin, the rat fish has a venomous spike that can cause pain or even death.[citation needed]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The rat fish lives at depths from 50–1000 m. Sick or dying fish are sometimes observed in shallower water. Its distribution is the eastern Atlantic, from west Africa north to northern Norway and Iceland. They are also reported in the western parts of the Mediterranean sea. Another species located south of Africa is also possibly a rat fish. A specimen was caught recently from MALTA, Central Mediterranean, off Ġnejna Bay.


  1. ^ Dagit, D.D. & Caldas, J.P. 2007. Chimaera monstrosa. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 2009-01-02.