Chimera

Chimera

[ki-meer-uh, kahy-]
Chimera: see Bellerophon and Typhon.
or chimaera

Any of the 28 species of ancient fishes constituting the subclass Holocephali (class Chondrichthyes), found in temperate to cold waters of all oceans. Like sharks and rays, chimeras have a skeleton of cartilage rather than bone, and the males possess external reproductive organs (claspers). They have a single external gill opening, covered by a flap as in the bony fishes, on each side of the body. Males have a supplemental clasping organ that is unique among fishes. Chimeras have large pectoral and pelvic fins and two dorsal fins, the first preceded by a sharp spine. They range in length from 24 to 80 in. (60 to 200 cm) and in colour from silvery to blackish. They inhabit rivers, estuaries, coastal waters, and open ocean to depths of 8,000 ft (2,500 m) or more. They eat small fishes and invertebrates.

Learn more about chimera with a free trial on Britannica.com.

In Greek mythology, a fire-breathing female monster. Its foreparts resembled a lion, its middle a goat, and its hindquarters a dragon. It devastated the land around Caria and Lycia until it was killed by Bellerophon. The word is now often used to denote a fantasy or a figment of the imagination.

Learn more about Chimera with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Chimera, chimaira or chimaera may refer to:

In science

  • Chimera (genetics), a single animal organism with genetically distinct cells from two different zygotes
  • Chimera (plant), a single plant organism with genetically distinct cells from two different zygotes or from a mixed-species callus
  • Chimera (virus), a virus containing genetic material from other organisms
  • Chimera (protein), a hybrid protein made by splicing two genes
  • Chimera (EST), a single cDNA sequence originating from two transcripts
  • In paleontology, a taxon composed of the fossils of several different species but presumed to be from one species
  • Chimaera, a cartilaginous fish related to sharks
  • Chimaera, the namesake genus of the order Chimaeriformes

In music

In fiction

In games

In computing

Other uses

See also

Search another word or see chimeraon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;