Tags: scary-looking | deep-sea | fish

Scary-Looking Deep-Sea Fish Is Hunchbacked Catcher on the Sly

Image: Scary-Looking Deep-Sea Fish Is Hunchbacked Catcher on the Sly
A new species of anglerfish? (Theodore Pietsch, Ph.D., University of Washington)

By    |   Friday, 07 Aug 2015 05:39 AM

Described as "scary looking" by researchers, a new deep-sea fish has been discovered in the northern Gulf of Mexico, most likely a new species of anglerfish that catches its prey with a built-in lure.

The research into the new fish was described in a study published by The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists' journal Copeia, an international journal  focusing on fish, amphibians and reptiles.

"The latest discovery looks like a hunchbacked, rotting old shoe with spikes, a scraggly mustache and a big mouth with bad teeth," wrote CNN's Ben Brumfield. "And it has a long, angular fishing pole-looking thing growing out of its head. The feature is typical for all species of ceratioid anglerfish, which they indeed use to lure other fish to their spiky jaws."

Tracey Sutton, of Nova Southeastern University's Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Theodore Pietsch, of the University of Washington, worked together to identify the new species, according to a Nova Southeastern release.

"As a researcher, the one thing I know is that there's so much more we can learn about our oceans," said Sutton. "Every time we go out on a deep-sea research excursion there's a good chance we'll see something we've never seen before – the life at these depths is really amazing."

Researchers said three female anglerfish were found from 1,000 to 1,500 meters, or 3,200 to 4,921 feet, which makes it difficult for the animal to find food. The researchers said the fish uses its appendage as sort of a fishing pole to attract fish it could prey on.

"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," said the release.

Sutton said the new discovery of the anglerfish species is evidence that there could be other animals in the sea waiting to be found.

"Every research trip is an adventure and another opportunity to learn about our planet and the varied creatures who call it home," he said.

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Described as "scary looking" by researchers, a new deep-sea fish has been discovered in the northern Gulf of Mexico, most likely a new species of anglerfish that catches its prey with a built-in lure.
scary-looking, deep-sea, fish
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2015-39-07
Friday, 07 Aug 2015 05:39 AM
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