Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Deep Sea Goosefish

Image: NOAA Ocean Explorer
Not all deep sea anglerfish look like infuriated demons!

Just... most of them.

Image: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
Sladenia remiger
We saw a great example in that video of the Black Sea Devil. It looked like the head of a decapitated demon, swimming around in search of its body so it could reattach itself and avenge his neck.

Maybe not, though. My demon physiology is pretty rusty.

Image: NOAA Photo Library
Sladenia shaefersi
In any case, those kinds of deep sea anglerfish belong to a suborder called Ceratioidei. It's quite the line-up of ugly!

Another suborder within the Anglerfish group is Lophioidei. It contains all the Monkfish and Goosefish.

Image: NOAA
We've seen Monkfish before, too. Many of them live close to the coast and they're usually extremely flattened, looking like an ogrish face resting on the seafloor. Until, that is, they explode into action to snatch any prey who wanders too close.

And, of course, it's an anglerfish so it has a lure on its snout to entice prey and actively encourage them to wander too close. So unfair!

Image: NOAA
But now let's see a different kind of Goosefish: the ones that belong to the genus Sladenia.

There are three species, one about 30 cm (1 foot) long and the other two a few inches longer.

They sit around on the sea floor, resting a rather podgy body on four, thick fins which are clearly adapted to walking.

Their lure is extremely spindly and it isn't bioluminescent, so I guess it wouldn't work too well in pitch darkness. That might be why these fish tend to live in the twilight zone, where there is still a bit of hazy light.

Image: NOAA
They're also covered in a strange pattern of hairs which I assume are sensory so they can feel the presence of prey swimming by.

And just look at those lovely, soft eyes! This is a Deep Sea Puppy if ever i saw one.


TexWisGirl said...

so stinking grumpy cute!

Crunchy said...

Sounds like a fun game for all ages. Monk fish monk fish monk fish GOOSE FISH!

And then the goose fish chomps your arm and you run around flailing.

Good times.

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

@TexWisGirl: Haha! That's it in a nutshell!

@Crunchy: It'll build character!

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