Monday, November 13, 2017

Und Here Ve See zee Illusive Anglerfish!

Anglerfish are some of the most bizarre creatures on our planet. They sport the well-known fleshy lures, dangling from the front of their bodies to entice prey organisms to come in close for a better look (and, then, only to get chomped on). Their bodies tend to be compressed, making them weirdly blobby or weirdly elongated (depending on the species). Some of them also have some of the strangest sexual dimorphism, where the male of a given species may be incredibly small compared to the females. 

I just stumbled upon the video below on the Facebook page for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). They captured a video of an anglerfish 600 m (1968.5 ft) down in the ocean using the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Doc Ricketts. Take a look at the bizarre creature as it swims among the marine snow, sporting its "luminous lure at the tip" (as it was described by MBARI's Bruce Robison).

Here's the description offered by MBARI for the video:

"Deep-sea anglerfish are strange and elusive creatures that are very rarely observed in their natural habitat. Fewer than half a dozen have ever been captured on film or video by deep diving research vehicles. This little angler, about 9 cm long, is named Melanocetus. It is also known as the Black Seadevil and it lives in the deep dark waters of the Monterey Canyon. MBARI's ROV Doc Ricketts observed this anglerfish for the first time at 600 m on a midwater research expedition in November 2014. We believe that this is the first video footage ever made of this species alive and at depth."

Still haven't had enough? Check out a longer, narrated version of the video from MBARI here:

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