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Photo: Close-up of a fangtooth fish; National Geographic

Fangtooths are found across the globe. National Geographic writes:

The nightmarish fangtooth is among the deepest-living fish ever discovered. The fish’s normal habitat ranges as high as about 6,500 feet (2,000 meters), but it has been found swimming at icy, crushing depths near 16,500 feet (5,000 meters). Fangtooth fish reach only about six inches (16 centimeters) long, but their namesake teeth are the largest, proportionate to body size, of any fish.

UCSD’s mis-named Digital Fish Library records:

The fangtooth family Anoplogastridae (sometimes incorrectly written Anoplogasteridae), comprises two species of bathypelagic fishes in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean (Nelson, 2006). The common name for the family comes from the numerous elongate fanglike teeth projecting out of the mouths of adults. Their enormous heads are about 1/3 of their body length. Their heads are punctuated by equivalently enormous jaws of equal length (Hulley, 1986). These fishes are voracious sit-and-wait predators and swallow their prey whole (Childress, 1973); they have been observed feeding on fish 1/3 of their own size (Davenport, 1993). Despite their formidable appearance and disposition these fishes reach only about 16cm in length and are generally only a threat to the smaller fish upon which they prey. Anoplogaster is itself a common prey of tunas and marlins (Shimizu, 1977).


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

October 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

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