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Anglerfish - Angry looking creature you don't wish to meet

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Description

Diet:    Carnivore    
Size:    8 in (20 cm) up to 3.3 ft (1 m)    
Weight:  Up to 110 lbs (50 kg)

Anglerfishes are members of the teleost order Lophiiformes.

The angry-looking deep sea creature which you don't wish to meet

Typically small fishes, the largest known individuals of most families attain standard lengths of approximately 100-250 mm, but some (e.g., Lophiidae, some Antennariidae, Himantolophidae, Thaumatichthyidae, Ceratiidae, and Gigantactinidae) become much larger, lophiids exceeding a meter in length and a weight of 27 kg.
Ceratioids display an extreme sexual dimorphism in which males are dwarfed, the largest known free-living individuals of most families measuring 10-30 mm SL (standard length), but reaching 40 mm SL in Himantolophidae; parasitically attached individuals usually range from about 7-30 mm SL, but reach nearly 120 mm SL in Ceratiidae.


The order Lophiiformes contains a highly diverse array of marine fishes that are primitively benthic shallow-water dwellers, but have evolved to form several groups of deep-shelf and slope inhabitants as well as a highly modified assemblage of open-water, meso- and bathypelagic species.
Commonly referred to as anglerfishes, the group is characterized most strikingly by the structure of the first dorsal-fin spine, typically placed out on the tip of the snout and modified to serve as a luring apparatus.
They are bony fishes named for their characteristic mode of predation, wherein a fleshy growth from the fish's head (the esca or illicium) acts as a lure like the one found in angling.

Skeleton of The angry-looking deep sea


Anglerfishes display a wide range of body forms, from globose, almost spherical, to elongate, laterally compressed, or extremely dorsoventrally depressed. The head and mouth are typically large, the premaxillae protractile.
The teeth in the jaws are numerous, small, villiform, in several rows, or very few in number and developed to form large fangs (as in most Ceratioidei). Vomerine teeth are usually present (absent in some Ceratioidei); palatine teeth are present or absent. The eyes are typically large (except in most adult female Ceratioidei).
The anterior-most dorsal spine or illicium is nearly always present (but absent in male Ceratioidei and in both sexes of the ceratioid family Neoceratiidae), usually bearing a terminal bait or esca (absent in some Antennariidae, male Ceratioidei, and in both sexes of the ceratioid family Neoceratiidae).
The esca is simple to highly complex, bioluminescent in nearly all female Ceratioidei. The bony support for the illicium (illicial pterygiophore), which lies within a shallow trough on the anterodorsal surface of the cranium, is highly protrusible in some taxa. The pectoral fins are highly modified, leg-like (except in Ceratioidei).
When present, the pelvic fins are jugular in position and consist of 1 spine and 4 or 5 rays (pelvics are absent in Ceratioidei, except for larval Caulophrynidae). The gill openings are restricted to a small, elongate, tube-like opening situated immediately dorsal to, posterior to, or ventral to (rarely partly anterior to) the base of the pectoral fin.
A pseudobranch is present or absent. A swimbladder is usually absent (present and physoclistous in some Antennariidae). The eggs are spawned in a double, scroll-shaped mucous sheath. The soft dorsal fin consists of 3-22 rays, the anal fin 3-19 rays, the pectoral fin 4-30 rays, and the caudal fin 8-10 rays.

The coloration of anglerfishes ranges from uniform gray, brown to black, without markings of any kind (e.g., some Lophioidei and Ceratioidei), to multicolored and complexly patterned (e.g., Antennariidae).






Habitat

There are more than 200 species of anglerfish, most of which live in the murky depths of the Atlantic and Antarctic oceans, up to a mile below the surface, although some live in shallow, tropical environments.
Anglerfish occur worldwide, some are pelagic, others benthic; some live in the deep sea (e.g., Ceratiidae) others on the continental shelf (e.g., the frogfishes Antennariidae and the monkfish/goosefish Lophiidae).
Lophiiforms are strictly marine fishes distributed throughout all oceans and major seas of the world. Only the Lophiidae, however, are present in the Mediterranean.
Most are benthic as adults, typically occupying depths that range from the surface down to approximately 200 m, a few species extending down to 2500 m or more. All Ceratioidei (with the exception of the thaumatichthyid genus Thaumatichthys, which is benthic in 1000-3600 m) are meso- and bathypelagic, concentrated between approximately 800 and 2500 m.





Diet


Small fishes, or different types of small marine mamals, typically of fish and invertebrates.He is a ferocious carnivor fish.Deep-sea anglers have large stomachs and may swallow prey larger than themselves





Breeding

Observations of courtship and spawning behavior have been reported for only a few antennariids.
Eggs and larvae have been adequately described for two of the 25 known species of Lophiidae; larvae, but not eggs, have been described in a third species. Within the Antennariidae, unequal information concerning early life-history stages is available for only four of the 42 recognized species.
For the Tetrabrachiidae and Brachionichthyidae, all that is published is a mention of egg attachment to dorsal-fin rays and substrate, respectively .
For chaunacids and ogcocephalids, aside from brief descriptions of ovarian structure, limited (by available material) developmental series of an unidentified species of each of two genera (Chaunax and Ogcocephalus) were described by Pietsch (1984a).
Finally, larvae, but not eggs, have been adequately described for most families of the Ceratioidei. For a full summary, see Pietsch (1984a), Pietsch and Grobecker (1987), and numerous references cited therein.

Probably the most striking characteristic of early ontogeny in lophiiform fishes is that eggs are spawned encapsulated within a non-adhesive, balloon-shaped mucoid mass or, more typically, a continuous, ribbon-like sheath of gelatinous mucous, often referred to as an "egg-raft" or "veil" .
These egg-rafts are complex structures of positive bouyancy that float freely at the surface. Each is a product of two confluent ovaries within which each individual egg floats in a separate chamber provided with openings for the circulation of water .
This peculiar structure, differing considerably from any other ovarian product known in fishes , is an excellent device for broadcasting a large number of small eggs over great geographic distances providing for development in relatively productive surface waters .

drawing of The angry-looking deep sea creature which you don't wish to meet

Some anglerfish, like those of the Ceratioid group (Ceratiidae, or sea devils), employ an unusual mating method. Because individuals are presumably locally rare and encounters more so, finding a mate is problematic.
When scientists first started capturing ceratioid anglerfish, they noticed that all of the specimens were female. These individuals were a few centimetres in size and almost all of them had what appeared to be parasites attached to them. It turned out that these "parasites" were highly reduced male ceratioids.
The presence of multiple males breeding with a single female makes this a good example of polyandry.

At birth, male ceratioids are already equipped with extremely well-developed olfactory organs that detect scents in the water. The male ceratioid lives solely to find and mate with a female. They are significantly smaller than a female angler fish, and may have trouble finding food in the deep sea.
Furthermore, the growth of the alimentary canals of some males becomes stunted, preventing them from feeding. These features necessitate his quickly finding a female anglerfish to prevent death.
The sensitive olfactory organs help the male to detect the pheromones that signal the proximity of a female anglerfish. When he finds a female, he bites into her skin, and releases an enzyme that digests the skin of his mouth and her body, fusing the pair down to the blood-vessel level.










Interesting facts

A mitochondrial genome phylogenetic study suggested that anglerfishes diversified in a short period of the early to mid Cretaceous, between 130 and 100 million years ago.

The name "anglerfish" derives from the species' characteristic method of predation. Anglerfish typically have at least one long filament sprouting from the middle of the head; termed the illicium, these are the detached and modified three first spines of the anterior dorsal fin.

Anglerfish can wiggle the esca to make it resemble a prey animal, luring other predators close enough for the anglerfish to devour them whole: the jaws reflexively shut upon contact to the tentacle.

Some deep-sea anglerfishes of the bathypelagic zone emit light from their escas to attract prey. This bioluminescence is a result of symbiosis with bacteria. Although the mechanism by which ceratioids harness them is unknown, the bacteria have been speculated to enter the esca from the seawater through small pores.
Once within the esca, they can multiply until their density is such that their collective glow is very bright.

Despite its intimidating appearance, anglerfish is considered a delicacy in Japan and Korea, fetching premium prices with lobster-like taste and texture. In Europe and North America, its tail meat is widely used in a number of exotic recipes.


The male angler fishes tiny by comparison with females like a tiny little baby.He attach is himself to the female by biting her and then digesting part of his face so he fuses with their flesh

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Sources :
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/anglerfish/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20130916_rw_membership_r1p_w#finished
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Anglerfish
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2836326/
http://deepseacreatures.org/anglerfish
http://tolweb.org/Lophiiformes
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
http://www.cgarena.com/gallery/3d/details/scenes/anglerfishaym102010.html
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