Deep-sea angler fish: small but fierce

Deep-sea angler fish: small but fierce
Date:8 December 2010

This deep-sea angler fish was collected from a submersible at about 800 m depth, where little or no sunlight penetrates.

Just 1,9 m long but fierce-looking, it has a long spine tipped with bioluminescent tissue that it can dangle in front of its mouth. Scientists think the light attracts prey that become the fish’s dinner. The prominent bumps that look like rivets are part of the fish's sensitive pressure-detection system.

WHOI scientists have studied deep-living animals in many parts of the world, including the Atlantic, the Philippines and Indonesia, often finding new species.

Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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