One of the most interesting inhabitants of the deep sea is anglerfish. Repellent appearance, an unusual way of hunting and relationships with the opposite sex significantly distinguish it from other marine life.
Living fish at great depths did not immediately make it possible to study it. Currently, ceratiform or deep-water anglerfish include a dozen families and more than a hundred known species.
Angler fish, or monkfish, is one of the most unusual and even frightening fish.
According to one of the versions, a nondescript and awesome appearance, as well as a habitat, gave the fish its nickname deep-sea monkfish. Some individuals can be up to two meters long.
The fish has a disproportionate spherical body, the head takes up more than half of the body. Color helps her perfectly masked.
Anglerfish are dark brown and black, but their belly, as a rule, is white.
The mouth of a monkfish is huge, adorned with a series of sharp, curved teeth. Around the mouth can be stirring leathery folds, which also help the fish to successfully hide in the algae on the bottom and wait for prey.
The fish has no scales, but in some species the bare skin is covered with scales transformed into spikes. Anglerfish has a very weak eyesight and smell, his eyes are very small.
A fish raised to the surface does not look at all like the depth it is accustomed to. Swollen body and bulging eyes – a consequence of excessive internal pressure.
The name “sea devil” was a species due to its very unattractive appearance.
Angler can be divided into 11 families:
- Long gables;
Another characteristic feature of this type is the rod (illitsiy). In fact, it is an enlarged dorsal fin, namely the first ray.
The look of Ceratias holboelli can hide the illicit by pulling it inside the torso, and in Galatheathauma axeli it is located right in the mouth.
In most species, the fishing pole is directed forward and hangs straight to the mouth, luring prey. At the end of the illite there is an esque or a bait.
Esca is a leather pouch – it is a gland filled with mucus with bioluminescent bacteria, due to which the lure glows. Usually the glow is a series of flashes.
The fish can cause and stop the glow, controlling the process of expansion and contraction of blood vessels, since iron needs blood flow, and bioluminescent bacteria – in oxygen.
Sexual dimorphism refers to the differences in anatomy between females and males of the same biological species. In anglers, this is especially pronounced.
For a long time, scientists could not understand what a male anglerfish looks like, because they attributed males and females to two different species.
The European angler males first mature at the age of 6 years with an average body length of 50.3 cm, and the females at 14 years old with a body length of 93.9 cm.
The size of the females range from 5 cm to 2 meters, and the weight reaches 57 kilograms. These predatory fishes possess a wide mouth and a strongly stretching stomach.
They hunt other deep-sea fish. Compared with them, the males are just dwarfs, because they reach a length of no more than 4 cm.
Another difference is the presence of Illicia. Rods have only females of this fish. The deep-water angler also conceals other surprises.
Unlike females, males have developed eyes and olfactory organs that they need to search for females.
The deep-water angler lives in the depths of the waters of the World Ocean. The fish are adapted to live at a depth of 3 kilometers.
The anglerfish is especially common in the Atlantic Ocean, from the shores of Iceland to the Guinean Sea, preferring cool waters.
Females hunt other deep-water fish, such as gonostomies, halulids, and melemphs; they also feed on crustaceans and sometimes cephalopods.
The process of hunting is as follows. Anglerfish lies on the bottom, hiding in the mud and algae. It turns on the eski glow and jerks it so that it looks like a small fish movement.
To catch prey, the female patiently waits for her to swim to her. Small prey she pulls in, sucking with water.
It takes a few milliseconds to swallow a curious fish. Sometimes, at the expense of its developed pectoral fins or by letting out a stream of water through the gills, the angler fish can jump forward, attacking the prey.
Anglerfish is an extremely voracious fish, it can attack prey that is three times larger than its size. Although the stomach of fish stretches to an impressive size, such a dinner ends in death for the fish.
Since her teeth are curved inside, she can not spit out prey and gags.
Monkfish can creep up and even “jump up” with the help of their hand-made pectoral fins.
There have been cases when a species, akin to the angler fish, a monkfish, swallowed seabirds with the same outcome. As a rule, monkfish pops up when it is intensely eaten off after spawning.
At such moments, he can attack and man.
Male diet is modest, they feed on small organisms. Up to a certain point, their food consists of copepods and bristle-jaws, until the males begin to parasitize.
Of all the diversity of the animal world, the parasitism of males is characteristic only of anglerfish. Of the eleven families of anglers, four are subject to this parasitism, namely:
Possessing good eyesight and smell, the males detect the female by the emitted pheromones, which are stored for a long time in a fixed column of water. To understand whether the female belongs to their species, the males visually assess the shape of the fishing pole and the frequency of outbreaks, which vary in all species.
Having convinced that the female of the same species, the male swims up to her and tightly clings to the side with her teeth.
Having attached to the female, the anglerfish male loses independence. After a while it grows together with the female tongue and lips.
Its organs will atrophy, in particular, the eyes, teeth, jaws, organs of smell, fins, and stomach. He becomes one with the female, feeding himself through a system of common blood vessels.
On the body, females can parasitize up to six males. In the end, they turn into simple appendages that perform a single function – the production of sperm.
At the right time, the males just need to fertilize the eggs.
Like most species, the deep-water angler breeds in spring and summer, although no seasonal changes occur at great depths. Ribbon caviar can reach 10 meters.
Millions of fertilized eggs rise to the upper layers of water, to a depth of no more than 30–200 meters. There the larvae hatch and crustaceans and bristle maxillary eaters for some time, accumulating strength before the upcoming metamorphosis.
Larvae of deep-sea angler fish feel good in warm waters. They can be found in the tropical and moderately warm zones of the ocean, where the temperature of surface waters can reach 20 degrees.
By the time of metamorphosis, the fry descend to a depth of 1 km. Mature angler fish fall to the usual depth of their habitat – 1500-3000 meters.
The streams of anglerfish can even endure in subarctic and subantarctic waters.
European anglerfish or monkfish are commercial fish species. and even considered a delicacy. Especially large quantities of monkfish are mined in Great Britain and France, but in general they are caught all over the world – in America, Africa, East Asia.
Fish gained its popularity due to dense boneless meat, although rather tough. They eat the angler’s tail part, cook soup from their heads. The tail part is prepared in many ways.
Seafood dishes are especially appreciated in France.
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