Commonly called “shark-maids,” these humanoid marine vertebrates deviated from their more docile, fishtailed cousins around sixty-five million years ago. Their basic anatomy consists of the head and torso of a human attached to the caudal and anal fins of a cartilaginous shark.
Homo chondrichthyes typically live in mobile submarine houses in the open ocean. They are the terror of coral reefs, particularly in the Caribbean, where they engage in predatory behaviors for their once-weekly meals.
“Shark-maids” have been the subject of many legends, such as the tale of Ichthius, the super-strong male who destroyed the forgotten island of Watto-Nunu when its princess refused to marry him.
Modernly, some unfair prejudices have become ingrained in society surrounding these rare creatures. Some humans think they are warlike and will attack on sight, when really they will rarely eat anything larger than a moray eel and are typically afraid of humans. Once a year, Homo Chondrichtyes gather in multitudes to beg their deity, whom they believe to take the form of a pufferfish, for forgiveness for the impure blood they have swallowed. The festival is followed by a vegetarian feast of seaweed salad and roasted ice plant.
The Shark-Maid Conservation Society works to raise awareness and improve human understanding of these endangered and fairly harmless creatures.