Friday, July 16, 2010
July 16, 2010 : Deep Sea Dragonfish
Deep Sea Dragonfish
The deep sea dragonfish, sometimes known as the scaleless dragonfish, is a ferocious predator that inhabits the deep oceans of the world. Known scientifically as Grammatostomias flagellibarba, it has extremely large teeth compared to its body size. In spite of its gruesome appearance, its is a small fish, measuring only about 6 inches (about 15 centimeters) in length. There are several different species of dragonfish. All are very similar in appearance.
The deep sea dragonfish is one of the many species of deep sea fish that can produce its own light through a chemical process known as bioluminescence. The light is produced by a special organ known as a photophore. It is believed that the fish can use these flashing lights in the dark waters to attract prey and even to signal potential mates. The dragonfish has a large head and mouth equipped with many sharp, fang-like teeth. It also has a long protrusion known as a barbel attached to its chin. This barbel is tipped with a light-producing photophore. The dragonfish also has photophores along the sides of its body. These light organs may be used to signal other dragonfish during mating. They may also serve to attract and disorient prey fishes from deep below.
The deep sea dragonfish lives in deep ocean waters at depths of up to 5,000 feet (1,500 meters). Although dragonfish species are found in most oceans the world, the deep sea dragonfish is limited mainly to the North and Western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
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