For most of us, the depths of the sea are inaccessible and inaccessible places, which affect the living world in different ways. Of the 70% of the Earth’s surface covered by oceans, 90% of the volume comprises the darkness and cold of the deep sea.
Deep sea fish live in extreme conditions. They expose to high pressure, sudden temperature changes, and an environment with no sunlight. Deep sea fish have an unusual and frightening appearance. They are monsters from the depths, from the extreme environment due to lack of light and high pressure. Notwithstanding the stated conditions, some fish have adapted to life in the deep-sea environment.
Deep Sea Fish
What Are Deep Sea Fish?
Deep sea fish live in the ocean depths where extreme conditions rule – complete darkness and high pressure.
These fish have unique adaptations such as:
- bone reduction
- reduced muscle mass
- limited locomotion
- large jaws
- enormous stomach
- slowed metabolism
- bioluminescence and more.
List of Deep Sea Fish
- Viperfish (Chauliodus sloani)
- Fangtooth (Anoplogaster cornuta)
- Pacific blackdragon (Idiacanthus antrostomus)
- Tripod spiderfish (Bathypterois grallator)
- Prickly lanternfish (Myctophum asperum)
- The black ruff (Centrolophus niger)
Characteristic Species of Deep Sea Fish
Viperfish (Chauliodus sloani)
Viperfish belongs to the family of Stomiidae. It lives at depths of 200 – 4700 meters. The viperfish is recognizable by distinctly long and sharp teeth that do not fit in the mouth.
The body is oblong, silvery, and emits light. They grow up to 35 centimeters. It inhabits warm parts of the mid-Atlantic, the northern Indian Ocean, and the eastern Pacific, north of the Equator. Viperfish can also find in the Mediterranean, the South, and East China Seas.
Fangtooth (Anoplogaster cornuta)
Fangtooth (Anoplogaster cornuta) Deep-sea predator with unusual adaptations for prey hunting, large flexible jaws, sharp teeth. The body
has luminous organs, photophores. It feeds at night, close to the surface. During the day, fangtooth goes deep into the water.
Pacific blackdragon (Idiacanthus antrostomus)
It has a black, snake-like body and large teeth. Females are 4 times longer than males. Pacific blackdragon attracts prey using a luminous organ located at the end of the whiskers, which extends behind the lower jaw. It has luminous organs along the abdomen. This deep sea fish feeds at night closer surface and catches small fish.
Tripod spiderfish (Bathypterois grallator)
The fish raise from the bottom of the ocean on a tripod, that formed from elongated rods of ventral and caudal fins. It feeds on shrimp. The eyes are small; the mouth has a large opening. Pectoral fins have a branched neural network.
Prickly lanternfish (Myctophum asperum)
This deep sea fish belongs to the family of Myctophiformes. It is one of the relevant links in the ocean food chain. They eat planktonic shrimp. Prickly lanternfish have luminous organs on the head and body.
The black ruff (Centrolophus niger)
This deep sea fish lives singly or in small flocks. The body is spindle-shaped, laterally flattened. Body-color is black on the back, gray on the belly bodies. It grows up to 150 centimeters. Although it is a deep-sea fish, it also enters shallower waters. Young individuals have transverse dark stripes on the flanks and live close to the surface. They spawn throughout autumn and winter. They feed on mollusks, fish, jellyfish. The Black ruff is numerous in the Eastern Atlantic and South Pacific.
Facts about Deep sea Fish
- Although they look scary, most deep sea fish are small. They are long in between 2 and 30 cm. These fish breathe slowly, and their tissues have high water content and a low content protein. They survive without difficulty. They can last longer a period without food which they use more for energy than for building tissue.
- Some fish that live in depths where almost complete darkness reigns have developed special adjustments: the ability of bioluminescence in response to the environment without the presence of sunlight. Bioluminescence, a phenomenon that occurs when a living organism emits visible light, is the result of a chemical reaction in which a luciferin molecule reacts with oxygen. Deep sea fish mostly create light blue-green or green because the light of these wavelengths travels furthest through the seawater.
- All deep sea fish are carnivorous and feed on zooplankton, larger invertebrates, and other fish.
- In the depths of the sea, where there is no natural light, most fish has tiny eyes. Instead, they are sensitive to even the slightest vibration in the water.
- Another discovered fact related to deep-sea organisms is sexual dimorphism. The female is large compared to the male.
The increasing pressure of human activities on the seas and oceans led to a rapid and dangerous decline in their flora and fauna and habitat destruction. To preserve many plant and animal species that live in aquatic ecosystems are establishing protected areas all over the world. Special care is taken for the preservation of the environment and biodiversity.
The solution to habitat and species protection, biodiversity restoration, and ecosystems in the oceans lie in the creation of fully protected marine areas (reserves or shelters).
It is necessary to build an environmentally representative global network of protected areas and enabled oceans/seas to survive.