The ocean is a giant body of water filled with mysteries still waiting to be discovered. There are millions of species of fish that look very scary to humans. In the movie Finding Nemo, Marlin and Dory end up swimming in the dark and encounter one of the strangest looking fish in the ocean, an anglerfish.
Anglerfishes are part of the order Lophiiformes. These fishes are boney and are named after the way they catch their prey. They use a thin fleshy growth, found on their heads, as a lure, in a method that’s very similar to angling, or even fishing.
Anglerfish subspecies have different habitats. Some are pelagic, or they dwell in open water, while some are benthic or bottom-dwelling. Others live in deep seas and trenches and some are found on continental reefs and shelves. They are found all over the world and are even considered as a delicacy in some areas.
Anglerfishes usually have one long thread-like growth on the middle of their heads. This is called the illicium and is actually the first three bones of their spines. The filament starts to grow above the eyes and can be moved in different directions. It contains an irregular flesh growth, called the esca, at the tip. The fish uses this by wiggling it around and catching the attention of its prey, as it resembles a worm that the smaller fishes try to catch. Once the smaller fish gets close enough, the angler then jumps up and eats its prey.
Many exotic pet owners have taken a liking to keeping angle fishes as pets. Since they are salt-water fishes, a special solution is needed to ensure the water stays at the right salt and PH levels.
Angler Fish Video