Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fishy Codependency

Angler fish belong to the order Lophiiformes. They are deep sea fish named for their unique way of luring in their prey. They have a long filament that extends from the top of their head, near the eyes and mouth, that is movable (some even have tips that can light up!) and so can be wiggled to imitate prey. It acts as bait to bring in smaller creatures, like a fishing lure, and when the curious, hungry critter gets close the angler fish strikes. The topic of today's post, inspired by the comic below from The Oatmeal, is about angler fish reproduction. Some angler fish, particularly the Ceratiidae, have one of the most unusual matings systems you'll find in the animal kingdom.

This story is completely true.

(click on comics for a larger view)

(Comic via The Oatmeal)

Some additional internet sources on angler fish:
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