Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21, 2010 : Grenadiers


Grenadiers or rattails (less commonly whiptails) are generally large, brown to black gadiform marine fish of the family Macrouridae. Found at great depths from the Arctic to Antarctic, members of this family are among the most abundant of the deep-sea fishes.

The Macrouridae are a large and diverse family with some 34 genera and 383 species recognized (well over half of which are contained in just three genera, Caelorinchus, Coryphaenoides and Nezumia). They range in length from approximately 10 centimetres (3.9 in) in the graceful grenadier (Hymenocephalus gracilis) to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) in the giant grenadier, Albatrossia pectoralis. An important commercial fishery exists for the larger species, such as the giant grenadier and roundnose grenadier, Coryphaenoides rupestris. The family as a whole may represent up to 15 percent of the deep-sea fish population.

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