October 10, 2009
Mostly I look in wonder and marvel at the great beauty of nature in all its forms – but not in this case, these are just plain ugly….
Present in oceans around the world the Fangtooth is one of the deepest living species to be found – going as far as 5,000 m. They grow to around 16 cm with a rather large head and proportionally the largest teeth of any fish. They eat squid and other small fish which they hunt by a process researchers call contact chemoreception – essentially finding food by bumping into it.
2. Viper Fish
The Viper Fish lives in tropical and temperate waters at depths of 1500 m although like a lot of deep sea creatures it vertically migrates to around 500 m at night to feed on crustaceans and other small fish, luring them with a long rod like organ with a flashing light on the end. The viperfish grows up to 60cm long and is believed to live for over 15 years.
3. Angler Fish
There are more than 200 species of angler fish worldwide living at varying depths , some up to a mile below the surface; they are easily identifiable by the fleshy growth from their heads [called an esca] which acts as a lure for prey by imitating a much smaller fish. Generally dark grey or brown most are less than 30 cm long but some can grow to up to a meter in length. Angler fish consume their prey whole; by distending their jaw and stomach they are able to eat creatures twice as large as their entire body. The male is considerably smaller and from birth seeks the female for survival latching on as a parasite before completely fusing with the female losing everything but its gonads. A female will carry over six males on her body.
There is not much known about this it seems other than it lives in deep waters, around 800 m – mainly around the coast of Australia and Tasmania, it [clearly] has a significant lack of bone and muscle which allows it to bob along just above the surface of the sea floor eating whatever passes by, it is thought to grow up to a maximum of 30 cm in length.
5. Salt Water Hatchetfish
There are around 45 different species worldwide the largest growing to 12cm found at depths of up to 1,370 m in tropical and subtropical waters. They are made distinct by their very thin laterally compressed bodies and large protruding eyes which are angled upward allowing them to search for food overhead.
6. Black Dragonfish
Found at depths of up to 2000 m in subtropical and temperate waters in the southern hemisphere. The females grow to 40 cm in length with males reaching only 5 cm. Like lots of other deep sea fish they have photophores scattered over their bodies that can produce light. The larval black dragonfish have their eyes on stalks extending from their head.
Spookfish live in depths of 1700 to 2600 m deep, grow up to 1.2m in length and have been found in the West Indian and Pacific oceans. Their distinguishing feature is a long narrow flexible snout which has sensory features on the underside to help it locate its prey on the sea floor. They eat smaller fish and crustaceans by crushing them with their beak like mouths.
8. Lizard Fish
Found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world at depths of 400m at most. There are around 60 species all with the distinguishing feature of needle like teeth in their mouths and on their tongue, they grow up to 60 cm, prefer living on the sea bed and are often camouflaged to their environments.
9. Giant Grenadier
A member of the rattail family named due to their long pointed tails. Lives at depths up to 3,500 m and grows to over 2 m. They spend most of their time swimming along the sea bed searching for carcasses and most other sea creatures including crabs worms and cephalopods.
Hagfish have a couple of less than discerning characteristics, first they secrete a protein when attacked that turns into copious amounts of slime – an adult can turn a 20 litre bucket of water to slime in a matter of minutes – this special feature suffocates the predator and enables the hagfish to escape which it does by tying itself into a knot and slipping through. Secondly they are known to enter the bodies of their prey either by mouth or by attaching themselves and boring through; they then devour their victim from the inside out. The largest hagfish grow up to 127 cm long and are found in depths of 1,800m. cliquee.net