One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A blunt-nosed chimaera with rodent-like front teeth and a long, thin tail, found chiefly in cooler waters.
Genera Chimaera and Hydrolagus, family Chimaeridae: several species, including H. colliei of the eastern North PacificSee also rabbitfish
- ‘Bright orange sea bushes, sea trees, sponges, wolf-fish, strange-looking ratfish and even reefs of lophelia coral welcome divers to Norway's cold but clear waters - visibility can be up to 50m.’
- ‘Hard to miss, especially by night divers, whose lights catch the gleam from its huge opalescent eyes, is the ratfish, which cruises by on wing-like pectoral fins.’
- ‘Apparently living at great depths with the hagfish, the prehistoric ratfish was recently discovered off Brazil by scientists.’
- ‘The others catch sight of the ratfish at the same time as me, but it is not alone - there are five of these ‘monsters ‘in the cleft.’’
- ‘The ratfish is normally a deep-dweller but in some Norwegian fjords it can be seen as shallow as 10m’
2A long, thin purplish edible fish which lives in shallow temperate waters of the Indo-Pacific where it burrows in the sand.
Gonorhynchus gonorhynchus, the only member of the family Gonorhynchidae
- ‘Their diet includes squid, skates, ratfish, rockfish, and octopus, as well as pelagic fishes such as mackerel and sardines.’
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