Deep Sea Angler Fish
One of the ocean's strangest looking fish of all is the deep-sea anglerfish. The deep-sea anglerfish is known scientifically as the Melanocetus johnsoni and is one of the deep ocean's most well known residents. There are more than 200 different species of anglerfish worldwide. The reason it is called an angler fish is that it has a spine that is extra long with a photopore at the end, which looks sort of like a fishing lure. This photopore works much like a lightning bug and can produce a bluish light, which attracts prey when the sea angler fish moves the photopore back and forth.
The deep sea angler fish is even stranger in appearance than just the photopore hanging in front of its head. It is also basketball shaped and round enough with a Deep Sea Angler Fish close upbig enough mouth that it looks like it is possible to swallow a huge ball. The teeth of the deep sea angler fish are scarier looking than those of a shark and look like fangs. This deep sea angler fish is indeed ugly and because of its appearance it has been nicknamed "common black devil." Although this fish sounds and looks really scary, it is actually pretty small. The biggest the deep sea angler fish will ever reach is five inches long. That is a very small body for such a big mouth!
The deep sea anglerfish is either black, brown, gray, or any of the shades within these colors. This fish has really small eyes, jelly like skin, which can reflect blue light. This is a defense mechanism of the deep sea anglerfish because practically all fish in the deep sea that emit bioluminescent light produce a blue light. Since the deep sea anglerfish can reflect this light it is virtually invisible to other fish that live in the deep sea. In addition, since the angler fish is round, it is quite unstable making it very difficult to swim. Because of this the fish sort of bobbles back and forth through the water.
Built in Lighted Lure
When the anglerfish is looking for food it uses its special lighted lure to attract them. The anglerfish is able to move its spine, which is connected to the lure, in any direction necessary, while remaining completely still. It moves its lure back and forth attracting the prey until it is close enough to attack. When the prey is in close range the angler fish bites with its sharp teeth and swallows the fish whole! This might sound shocking since the anglerfish is so small. However, its jaws and stomach can expand significantly to accommodate fish double its size. Deep Sea Angler Fish x-rayThere is not an abundance of prey in the deep sea, so being able to eat large quantities at once all the deep sea anglerfish to sort of stock up until the next opportunity.
The deep sea anglerfish reproduces in an interesting way that is very unusual. The difference in size of the deep sea fish male and female is substantial. The male is actually smaller than the female and is black and about the size of a little finger. When the male deep sea angler fish becomes mature it can no longer feed by itself because its digestive system stops working. At this point there are two options, die or find a female angler fish. The male hooks itself to the female with small teeth and becomes a parasite since the blood vessels join. A female angler fish can carry as many as six males at once. This makes reproduction really easy because as soon as spawning occurs there is a mate, or six, right there.
This fish is found worldwide in near freezing water more than 3,000 feet below the surface. The taste and texture of anglerfishare similar to lobster and they are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world.