The Anglerfish

A lot of you may be quite familiar with this little guy, some through nature shows and some through Finding Nemo. Either way, the anglerfish has got a face that I’m not even sure a mother would love!

This frightening creature is a deep sea fish. Now we know that the farther down we go underwater, the weirder the creatures seem to get. But, even though this dude looks like it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down… then (once hitting the floor) all the ugly branches from the ugly tree fell on top of it just for added effect… its adaptation to its environment is outstanding.

Angler Fish

Normally found about a mile under the surface, the female anglerfish has what looks like a fishing rod protruding above its mouth, this accessory is an elongated dorsal spine and is what lures prey to their hideous crescent shaped mouth, home to its large translucent teeth. Their mouths are so big and bodies so pliable that they can actually swallow prey twice their own size.

I mention adaptability because being a deep sea fish means a life lived in the dark. The bioluminescent fishing rod is used as a lure, the anglerfish sways this blue-green light in the dark waters it lives in to attract its food.

Reproduction of the anglerfish is quite eventful too. The male, who is significantly smaller than the female, latches on to the female with his sharp teeth… he then dissolves his mouth, as well as a small part of the female, and the two lovers are fused together, their blood vessels joining as one. He then lives out his life as a parasitic mate, losing his eyes and internal organs, leaving only his scrotum.

What’s more, the female anglerfish can have up to 6 mates latch on to her at once!


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