BashfordDean in his Monograph on the Chimaeroid Fishes (1906), describing the North Pacific species Chimaera colliei, states that it is omnivorous and that the “broken shells of mollusks are commonly found, as well as fragments of good sized crustaceans, as indeed the scanty literature records.” He further states that “in the gut of C. monstrosa Faber finds crustacean and shell-fish fragments; Monticelli, quoting Lütken, Cyprina islandica;hellips; Olsson finds also (and his observations are the most detailed hitherto published on the feeding of Chimaera) chætopods, amphipods, echinoids and polyps.”
The following is an account of the gut contents of several specimens of Chimaera monstrosa which the authors were fortunate enough to obtain recently.
The specimens which were taken from the Atlantic Ocean sixty miles N.W. of Black Eock (Lat. 54° N., Long. 12° W.) at a depth of 220 to 250 fathoms, were preserved in dilute formalin.
The actual examination of the gut contents was carried out as follows.
The œsophagus and rectum were ligatured, and that part of the gut lying between the two ligatures was removed and placed in a dish of dilute formalin. The gut was then opened by a longitudinal incision, and its contents carefully transferred to the dish where they were subsequently examined by means of a binocular microscope. The food fragments were then provisionally classified, care being taken not to separate such parts as may have belonged to the same organism during life.