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Their findings have been published by The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Copeia, an international journal that publishes original research on fishes, amphibians and reptiles.
This new fish, which was found between 1,000-1,500 meters depth, is a new species of Ceratioid anglerfish (Genus Lasiognathus Regan [Lophiiformes: Oneirodidae]). The three females specimens found ranged in size from 30-95 mm in length. Looking at a photo of the fish, one quickly understands how anglerfishes get their common name.
At the ocean depths this fish lives in, there is no sunlight. The only light is that from creatures that produce bioluminescence, which means they generate their own light source. Also, at these depths, the pressure is immense — over one ton (2,200 pounds) per square inch. And the fight for food is never-ending. That’s why these fish have developed their unique way of attracting prey — from the appendage at the top of their head, which resembles a fishing pole of sorts. And, like its human counterparts, this fish dangles the appendage until an unsuspecting fish swims up thinking they found a meal, only to quickly learn that they are, in fact, a meal themselves.
“Finding this new species reinforces the notion that our inventory of life in the vast ocean interior is far from complete,” said Dr. Sutton. “Every research trip is an adventure and another opportunity to learn about our planet and the varied creatures who call it home.”
Now that is quite a fish!