Black Angler Fish (Lophius piscatorial)



The Black Anglerfish can be found worldwide, but the greatest population of them live in the murky depths of the Atlantic and Antarctic oceans.   They have a wide range of habitats, encompassing everything from open water to bottom-dwelling.

These vicious looking fish may very well be the ugliest fish in the ocean.   They range in color from dark gray to black.   They have a huge head with an enormous crescent shaped mouth filled with long, fang-like teeth.   The teeth are set inward for more efficient prey grabbing.   Their most distinctive feature is the filament sprouting from the top of their head.   The tip of the filament may emit a light, which is actually caused by a bacteria.   This filament is able to be moved in all directions.   Their jaws are triggered in an automatic reflex by contact with the filament.   These vary in size, but typically range from 8 inches to 3 feet long.

These creatures are ferocious predator with a cunning method luring prey.   They are strict carnivores, preying on just about any fish and sea creature.   Their filament on their head attracts the prey close enough for the anglerfish to devour it whole.   Their teeth are perfectly angled so to not impede anything going in and preventing anything from escaping.     The anglerfish is able to distend both its jaw and its stomach to enormous size, allowing it to swallow prey up to twice as large as its entire body.

Males have a reputation for being a parasitic mate.   When a young, free-swimming male angler encounters a female, he latches onto her with his sharp teeth. Over time, the male physically fuses with the female, connecting to her skin and bloodstream and losing his eyes and all his internal organs except the testes. A female will carry six or more males on her body.


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