There are over 200 species of anglerfish in the world. They adapt their bodies to their habitat. Anglerfish are extremely scary looking. But did you know that only the females look so scary? The male anglerfish is small compared to the female. They also don’t have the same features as the females. The females have two rows of sharp, translucent teeth and also have big, crescent-shaped mouths that can expand to eat prey twice their size.
All you can eat
Anglerfish are hungry fish and are definitely not picky eaters. They eat just about anything – even dead fish that float around in their vicinity. Because they live deep in the Atlantic and Antarctic Oceans, food is very scarce. This fish also has a stomach that can stretch wide enough to accommodate the food, even if it is twice the size of the anglerfish. Some anglerfish females can grow up to 100cm, but most are less than 30cm long. The males are, on average, only 3cm long.
Little light of mine
All female anglerfish have an appendage called the illicium at the top of their heads, and it looks like a fishing rod. Some anglerfish have a bioluminescent illicium, which means it glows in the dark due to bioluminescent bacteria that live in the esca. The esca, which looks like a light, is found on the tip of the illicium. Fish are attracted to the light, which makes it easier for the anglerfish to catch them.
Pop culture stars
The most notable appearance of an anglerfish on the big screen is in the movie Finding Nemo. In this movie, Marlin and Dory swim too deep into the ocean and then escape from the scary, hungry anglerfish. Anglerfish also feature in the LEGO Harry Potter Wii game, The Forest of Dean, and in Nintendo’s Donkey Kong.