Marine Animal Encyclopedia
Plownose Chimaera Callorhinchus milii
The plownose chimaera is also known as the elephant fish due to its most distinctive feature, a long, fleshy snout. The plownose uses this bizarre appendage to snuffle through mud of the ocean floor in search of shellfish, which it crunches up using its plate-like teeth. A network of prominent sensory canals crisscrosses its head. In spring, these fish come inshore into estuaries and bays to breed, and lay their eggs in horny, yellow-brown capsules. This chimaera is fished commercially for food.
Mating underwater is a slippery business, so the male plownose chimaera has a retractable, clublike, spiny clasper on its head that helps it hang onto the female. The male transfers his sperm when he inserts his pelvic clasper into the female’s cloaca.