This type of fish is one of the most infamous creatures in the deep ocean. In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of anglerfish facts, one of the most ferocious predators in the sea.
Anglerfish are named after the way they hunt
Anglerfish are bony types of fish in the order “Lophiiformes” and are named after the way they lure their prey. It appears that most of the females of this type of fish have a special organ to do so. This fleshy organ grows from the top of their heads and just hangs in front of their mouths. The tip of it can produce light, a feature that lures in the unsuspecting prey. If the prey swims close enough, they launch their attack. This basically means that the anglerfish angles in their prey using the little rod on top of their head.
Anglerfish can devour large prey
One of the most fascinating anglerfish facts is that their mouths and stomachs are optimized in such a way that they can devour prey that is up to twice their own size.
This is possible because their bones are extremely thin and flexible, allow their mouths to extend. Their stomach is very flexible as well and can easily hold prey this large.
The two main reasons that they eat whatever they come across, even prey this large, is first of all because the food at the bottom of the ocean is really scarce. The study conducted in Costa Rica discovered that 52% of the anglerfish they examined had empty stomachs.
These fish can be described as lazy, but they need to be
Let’s face it, the living conditions at the bottom of the ocean aren’t all that great. The pressure is enormous which means all the energy that these creatures are radiating is preserved for the most important thing in their lives, acquiring food to survive. That’s why a study has shown that most of the time, these creatures are simply floating around in the deep ocean, sometimes even upside-down, drifting passively without making any sudden movements. While they are perfectly capable of moving quickly in any direction, these are low-energy predators that prefer to save all of their energy for things that are crucial to their survival.
Females are usually much larger than the male anglerfish
One of the most interesting anglerfish facts is that these types of fish are characterized by sexual dimorphism. This means that the female is usually much larger than the male. And we’re not talking about being a little smaller, the difference can be extremely big in some species, with males literally being dwarfs in comparison.
They have large mouths and extremely sharp teeth
You don’t want to be floating in front of this creature if you’re living at the bottom of the ocean, that’s for sure! Anglerfish have a large head and a large crescent-shaped mouth as well. The scary part is that their mouth is filled with 2 rows of extremely sharp fang-like teeth that point inwards, completely optimized to both catch the prey and keep it inside if it’s not killed on the spot.
All anglerfish are carnivores and ferocious predators
With a setup like that, it isn’t hard to believe that all anglerfish are 100% carnivorous. This means their sole source of food is the unlucky prey they catch which consists of other creatures living at the bottom of the ocean. A study has shown that even though these creatures aren’t picky when it comes to their food, their main sources of food are crustaceans and other small types of fish.
These fish live all around the world
Because there are so many different types of anglerfish species, it means that they can be found all around the world. Some anglerfish can be found at the bottom of the ocean while some live on the continental shelf. There’s hardly any place in the world where you won’t find these creatures dwelling in the ocean!