angler fish legs male female
Linophrynidae (Leftvents) with lure and barbels. The Latin name literally means “toad that fishes with a net”. Linophryne algibarbata (left) and Linophryne arborifera (right).
NOVA has a page about deepsea anglerfishes with some nice photos of living anglerfishes taken underwater.
Prior to the video, most anglerfish that have been studied were dead specimens. They almost never survive the journey to the surface. Anglerfish would be captured in nets and brought to the surface for study.
Carefully examining the female’s stomach, the small male can be seen attached to her. This mating can be a one-sided ritual, with the male attached to the female. The male fertilizes the female anglerfish and becomes absorbed with her body, including the female’s circulatory system. This is how the male fish gains nutrients from the female.
And we’re not talking about a cute little Nemo-like fish. This one’s weird. The fist-sized fish has a flat face with eyes pointing forward, rippling folds of skin that hide its fins and pectoral fins that look (and possibly act) like legs. It’s these leg-like appendages that made University of Washington professor Ted Pietsch—the world’s leading authority on anglerfishes—say that this new-found fish is, without a doubt, an anglerfish.
We don’t know much about this weird little fish, but if this post has whet your appetite for crazy fish facts , check out the mating strategy of another species of anglerfish:
OK, I know, the internet is full of articles about freak creatures — “The most bizarre ocean creatures“, “Deep sea monsters“, etc. — and I don’t like those articles. These creatures are not monsters, they are not freaks they are remarkably adapted to an extremely unfriendly environment, with immense pressure, low temperatures and a lack of light. So maybe we could start treating them less like a freak show, and try to understand them and learn from their curiosities?
2. Common Slipper Shell (Crepidula fornicata)-Gender Switching
Perhaps the Osedax is best describe in song