The deep sea anglerfish is one of the more fascinating creatures of the ocean. With a monstrous appearance and sharp pointy teeth, it’s a good thing this fish prefers to lurk deep within the darkest depths of the sea. Below you’ll find great facts and information on this very unique species.
1. Anglerfish range in size, most being around 8 inches big however some can grow to be very large, reaching up to 3.3 feet in length!
2. Their name comes from the distinct feature that only female anglerfish have – the dorsal spine that extends off of their faces like a fishing pole.
3. The dorsal spine (the “fishing pole”) illuminates because of the millions of bioluminescent bacteria that is present. This feature helps lure prey close enough to swallow.
4. The anglerfish’s mouth is so large and their bodies are so flexible that they have the ability to eat prey up to twice their size! (Imagine trying to shove something into your mouth that was larger than yourself!)
5. There are over 200 types of species of anglerfish.
6. The majority of anglerfish live within the dark depths of the Antarctic and Atlantic oceans as well as occasionally in the shallows of tropical environments.
7. Most anglerfish live up to a mile beneath the ocean’s surface, where it is cold, pitch black, and murky.
8. Male anglerfish are much smaller than the females.
9. Because of the male anglerfish’s smaller size, to mate they become much like a parasite, biting onto the female with their sharp teeth to attach themselves. They will fuse together with the female and begin to connect completely to her skin and share the same bloodstream. The males will lose their eyes and all internal organs except for the testes.
10. Female anglerfish can carry over 6 males on her body. (And human women think we have it bad!)
11. Anglerfish can weigh up to 110lbs. and are carnivorous – this means that they prey on other fish and meaty sea-life.
12. The anglerfish’s skin is typically black, grey, brown, or a blended shade of these colors.