The spotted ratfish is a chimaera found in the north-eastern Pacific Ocean. Often seen by divers at night in the Pacific Northwest, this cartilaginous fish gets its characteristic name from a pointed rat-like tail. The ratfish lays leathery egg cases on the bottom of muddy or sandy areas, which are often mistaken by divers as something inanimate. While mainly a deep-water species, it occurs at shallower depths in the northern part of its range. The generic name, Hydrolagus, comes from the Greek words meaning water, and hare, The spotted ratfish is common in much of its range, not typically eaten by humans (the flesh is bland with an unpleasant aftertaste), and not commercially caught.
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