The known home of Anglerfish – most horrid looking creatures in the world is the depth of the Antarctic and Atlantic oceans. These creatures cut across the lonely and dark bottom of the ocean and in some cases the shallow tropical environments. Their population exceeds over 200 and is found only in the mention placed.
Characteristics of the Anglerfish
The Anglerfish are known to weigh as much as 50kg. They have huge heads that are bearlike in nature and have a varying color of dark brown and gray. They are known for their translucent teeth are housed in a large crescent shaped mouth. Their height varies with some attaining height as many 3.3 feet and some not up to a foot in height.
A distinctive characteristic of the Anglerfish is its hunting skills. It lures its victim to itself with its symbiotic relationship with the bacteria. In the deep sea, it glows, this serves as bait to its prey. The prey draws closer thinking the skin is a kind of food. As soon as the prey gets close, the Anglerfish gulps it up. The fish can sway its flesh in any direction it wishes and still maintain its still position. This helps in fooling the prey into coming closer, thinking the swaying flesh is a kind of food.
With the Anglerfish, the size of the prey is inconsequential; the pliable body of the fish allows it to swallow preys that are greater in size than the fish. This mode of predation on other preys which is parallel to the angle it positions itself earned it the name Anglerfish.
Anglerfish mating process
Another intriguing aspect of the Anglerfish is the way it mates. Unlike other animals on land and in sea where the male specie plays a dominant role, in the Anglerfish, the male species play a submissive role. The male species among the anglerfishes are weaker. They live on the female species as parasites, they lack the luring organ that the female species has, and they are also smaller in size. Some male species have undeveloped alimentary canals, this makes survival very difficult. This explains why the male species lives off the female species as a parasite.
The parasitic characteristics of the male Anglerfish
From birth the male’s olfactory organs is very sensitive. This makes it easy for them to detect the female Anglerfish that is close by. The male sinks its teeth on the female and fuses himself to her. The male afterwards releases an enzyme that digests the skin of the female to the mouth of the male. In the long run, the male begins to degenerate until it loses all his organs – eyes, heart, brain – except the testicles.
With the attached testicles, the female gets to fertilize her eggs at will. The female can have as much as 6 males attached to her; this gives her a steady supply of sperm to be used to fertilize her egg all her life.
The anglerfish feeds on other fishes. Its prey includes batfish, copepods, arrow worms, crustacean and marine snails.