Angler Fish

The Anglerfish always seems to look irritated. To be honest, this deep sea fish does have a right to be somewhat upset since it is very probably the ugliest creature in the world, and lives, completely engulfed in darkness, on the most chilly, damp, inhospitable environment in the world, the bottom of the sea.

The rather strange looking anglerfish
The rather strange looking anglerfish

There are about 200 kinds of anglerfish, and most of them live on the bottom or in the depths of the Antlantic and Antarctic Oceans, more than a mile below the surface of the water.

They are usually dark gray or dark brown in color, and aside from their look of evil they are generally fairly nondescript fish, aside from the horrid looks, huge heads and enormous mouths which are filled with many sharp teeth.

Some angler fish can reach about a yard in length, however most of them are about a foot long when mature.

Their most interesting feature, which only the females have is a piece of flesh that hangs over their mouths like a fishing pole—which is where they got their names actually.

It is tipped with a bit of flesh that glows, and brings in prey close enough to be snatched much like a lure and fishing rod. Their mouths are gigantic in comparison to their bodies, and the body is very soft and pliable so that they can swallow a fish that is more than two times their own size.

Another anomaly about these fish is that the males have no need for the fishing rod adaptation. Rather than continuously seeking prey and mates, the males have adapted to become parasites in their own accord, and are fed and cared for by the much larger female. They become, in essence, permanent mates.

When a young, male angler encounters a female, he latches onto her with his sharp teeth.

An angler fish lies in wait on young lava flows from Volcano W
An angler fish lies in wait on young lava flows from Volcano W

Over the course of time, the male physically fuses his own body with that of the , connecting to her skin and their bloodstreams fuse as well… He loses his eyes and all of his internal organs except for only the testes, and remains there for the rest of his life.

The female fishes have permanent mates and in point of fact most females have more than just one, They will carry as many as ten males on their bodies, however the average is about five or six..


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