Anglerfish - anglerfish with repulsive appearance
Monkfish is a predatory. It has a very unattractive appearance. According to one of the versions, this is why it was so named. Dwells on the bottom, hiding in the sand or between stones. It feeds on fish and various crustaceans of mollusks, which it catches, using the dorsal fin as a fishing pole with a bait dangling right in front of its mouth.
Monkfish belongs to the order of the Udilchikov family, the ray-finned family. He is also known as a European anglerfish. It grows up to 1.5-2 m in size, it can weigh up to 20 kg and more. In catches it is usually found up to 1 m long and weighing up to 10 kg. The body is flattened, disproportionate, the head occupies up to two thirds of its length. The color of the upper part is spotty, brown with a greenish or reddish tinge. The belly is white.
The mouth is wide, with sharp, big teeth bent inwards. Skin is bare, without scales. The eyes are small, vision and smell are poorly developed.The sea devil fish has leathery folds around the mouth, which constantly move like seaweed, which allows it to hide and disguise in the bottom vegetation.
The anterior dorsal fin in females plays a special role. It consists of six rays, three of which are isolated and grow separately. The first of them is directed forward and forms a kind of fishing rod hanging down to the mouth itself. It has a base, a thin part - “fishing line”, and a leathery luminous bait.
Habitat and species
Monkfish in the catches of fishermen found in many seas. The European angler is common in the Atlantic. Here he lives at depths ranging from 20 to 500 m and more. It can be found in the seas along the coast of Europe, in the waters of the Barents and North Seas.
The Far Eastern species of monkfish lives off the coast of Japan and Korea. Occurs in the Sea of Okhotsk, Yellow, South China Seas. Usually it inhabits depths from 40–50 to 200 m. The American angler fish in the northern part of the Atlantic lives in shallow depth, and in the southern regions it is more common in the coastal zone. It can be found at depths up to 600 m with a wide range of water temperatures (0 - 20 ° C).
Juveniles hatched from caviar differ externally from adult individuals. At the beginning of life, they feed on plankton, live for several months in the upper layers of water, and upon reaching a length of 7 cm, change their appearance, sink to the bottom, and become predators. Intensive growth continues throughout the first year of life.
Not so long ago, in the depths of the ocean, related species of the sea features were discovered. They were called deep-water anglers. They can withstand tremendous water pressure. They live at a depth of 2000 m.
Monkfish spends a lot of time in ambush. It lies motionless on the bottom, buried in the sand or disguised among stones and aquatic vegetation. "Hunting" can take him from 10 hours or more. At this time, he is actively playing bait to attract a curious victim. A leathery onion surprisingly accurately copies the movements of a fry or shrimp.
When an interested fish is nearby, the monkfish opens its mouth and sucks the water along with the victim. It takes a few milliseconds, so there is almost no chance of escape from sharp teeth. In special cases, the angler fish can jump forward, pushing with fins, or use the reactivity of a jet of water released through its narrow gill slits.
Most frequently, stingrays, eels, bullheads, flounders, and other bottom fish predominate in the monkfish diet. He does not disdain also shrimps and crabs. During the intensive zhora, after spawning, it can rise to the upper layers of water and, despite poor eyesight and smell, can attack mackerel and herring. It is reported on the cases of monkfish hunting for waterfowl. It can be dangerous at such times for a person.
The male and female angler fish are so different in appearance and size that, until some time, experts attributed them to different classes. Reproduction of monkfish is the same special moment as its appearance and method of hunting.
The anglerfish male is several times smaller in size than the female. In order to fertilize the spawn, he needs to find his darling and not lose sight of her. To do this, the males simply bite into the body of the female. The structure of the teeth does not allow them to free themselves, and they don’t want it.
Over time, the female and male grow together, forming a single organism with a common body. Some of the organs and systems of the "husband" atrophy. He no longer needs eyes, fins, stomach. Nutrients flow through the blood vessels from the body of the "wife." The only thing left for the male is to fertilize the eggs at the right time.
They are swept away by the female usually in spring.The fecundity of the sea angler is quite high. On average, the female throws up to 1 million eggs. It occurs at depth, looks long (up to 10 m) and wide (up to 0.5 m) tape. The female can wear several “husbands” on her body so that they fertilize a large number of eggs at the right time.
Monkfish (photo see above) is not able to compare the feeling of hunger with the size of the prey. There is evidence of how the angler caught fish larger than himself, but could not let it go due to the peculiarities of the structure of the teeth. It happens that a monkfish catches a waterfowl and chokes with feathers, which leads to its death.
"Feet" is only for females. Each species of these fish has a peculiar bait, peculiar only to them. It differs not only in form. Bacteria that live in the mucus of a leathery onion emit light of a certain range. For this they need oxygen.
Angler can adjust the glow. After eating, he temporarily pinch the blood vessels leading to the bait, and this reduces the supply of blood enriched with oxygen. Bacteria cease to glow - the flashlight goes out. It is temporarily no need, besides the light can attract a larger predator.
Monkfish, though nasty in appearance, meat is tasty, and in some regions is considered a delicacy. The courage and gluttony of this predator give rise to fear for divers and scuba divers. From the hungry angler fish, especially large size, it is better to stay away.