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The Supreme Ugliness


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Early this year, ichthyologist Dominique Didier Dagit announced her discovery of Chimaera panthera, an astoundingly unattractive species of ratfish living at depths of 2,000 feet off the coast of New Zealand. One of the oldest fish species alive, C. panthera has changed little in the last 350 million years. And like its shark cousins, it appears to have a super immune system that Dagit hopes will yield new antibiotics. But she was most impressed by the fish's strange appearance: "The Supreme Ugliness is what I called him."

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