Anglerfish are one of the fascinating creatures that live in water. This is a bony type of fish that has a flesh growth from the top of the head. This helps them with being able to get prey. It also gives them a look that is very peculiar and that is what has made them so interesting to people.
Many would describe the Anglerfish as one of the bizarre looking creatures out there. In fact, some people have seen them and thought it was genetic mutation due to chemicals or pollution that they were seeing of a regular fish. Their round bodies offer a wide mouth with rows of teeth that may be tiny but they are extremely sharp.
They can be up to 3 ½ feet in length. However, the large majority of them are about 8 inches long when fully mature. The body has a dorsal spine from the top of the head.
You will find the Anglerfish living both at the bottom of bodies of water and all over it. They are opportunistic so they will live where they can find safe habitat and where they can find enough food. The Atlantic Ocean is home to over 200 species of the Anglerfish.
They have been observed living in complete darkness in the depths of the water as well as close to the shore where there is plenty of light. They can be found living in large populations or alone. Such behaviors indicate that the habitat for the Anglerfish plays a vital role in how they be have. They have amazing instincts that allow them to adapt well to their surroundings in order to thrive.
That lure looking object on top of the head of an Anglerfish isn’t there by accident. Instead, it is there to assist them with getting food. Prey often mistake that area for food that they can consume and before they know it they have been consumed. The Anglerfish definitely has the element of surprise on their side to help them with being able to find enough food. They can even wiggle it to get the attention of prey if it isn’t coming on its own.
The issue of mating is very complex and interesting for the Anglerfish. All of them have female characteristics. On their bodies though are what appear to be parasites. They will mate with the females so that offspring can be created. During the spawning period this will occur.
The females will deposit very large amounts of eggs. They will be at the bottom of the water and they quickly attach to larvae. Over half of them will be consumed by predators in the water. Only a fraction of those that do survive will reach the age of maturity due to other predators in the water.
A fully-grown adult anglerfish may live for 20 years or more.
It isn’t really known how many Anglerfish are out there at this point in time. However, because of their late maturity (characteristic of many deep-water species) is a greater risk of them being caught before reach the sexual maturity. This is why this specie it is in the UK Biodiversity Grouped Species Action Plan for deep-water fish.