Saturday, May 22, 2010
May 22, 2010 : Blobfish
The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is a deep sea fish of the family Psychrolutidae. Inhabiting the deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, it is rarely seen by humans.
Blobfish live at depths where the pressure is several dozens of times higher than at sea level, which would likely make gas bladders inefficient for maintaining buoyancy. Instead, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming. Its relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats by in front of it.
Blobfish can be caught by bottom trawling with nets. Such trawling in the waters off Australia may threaten the blobfish in what may be its only habitat.