A team of researchers have recently discovered a brand new species of anglerfish in the deep waters of the sea. The exciting discovery was made in the northern parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
The appearance of the new species is extremely unattractive in the conventional sense, but the fish is absolutely tremendous as it displays some amazing characteristics. This new anglerfish has an enormous mouth with slim and spiky sharp teeth and a series or strong mustache-like organelles, that most likely serve a significant sensory function.
It has a odd looking body with several spiky ends that finishes with a rather small tail. But the most interesting thing about the new species is a long angle-like organ that emerges from its dorsal side and that ends with a very interesting organelle that glows in the dark.
This organ is extremely useful for the fish, as it is a perfect way to attract its prey in the dark places of the deep sea. When smaller fish see the angler’s light they come towards it in the hope of finding prey, but they actually get hunted themselves.
This new species is extremely small in size, as the three females measure between 30 and 95 mm long. They were collected from a very deep part of the sea, that is located between 1000 and 1500 meters below sea level, where the living conditions are extremely harsh.
The pressure at that level can reach a whopping 2200 pounds per square inch (psi), which is absolutely immense when compared to the seemingly insignificant 15 psi that we experience above sea level.
There is basically no light at that level, because the sun’s rays cannot penetrate so deep, and therefore the animal population is quite low. This means that while there are not as many predators as there are higher, there aren’t very many food sources either for the fish that live there.
This is why the inhabitants of this unfriendly environment have developed a series of adaptations that permit them to survive, such as the illuminated angle of this small new species.
The new anglerfish species doesn’t have a name for the time being, as the researchers will use the three females that they have found to describe the species, along with all of its characteristics and particularities. They will most likely be the ones to give it a name as well, but it might be a while before they get to that point.
While it might seem that three females are clearly insufficient to describe a species because there are no male specimens to take into consideration, the situation is not exactly so when it comes to angler fish and quite a wide range of marine species.
The angler fish male has only one purpose to serve and that is to provide the sperms necessary for the fertilization of the female; this is why they are extremely small in size and they simply latch on to the female’s body and remain there as parasites, because they will feed on the female’s nutrient resources, and they will provide the necessary reproductive material whenever it is necessary to the female.
Scientists are absolutely fascinated by exploring the deep places of the seas because there is so little that we know about these places. Furthermore, most of them end up identifying new species almost every time they conduct exploration projects, that look immensely different from the fish found at lesser depths because of the complete lack of light from the deep.
This means that these places have tremendous potential and that there still is so much that we need to find out about their extremely interesting fauna.
Image Source: scienceworldreport