Chauliodus sloanii, Melanocetus johnsoni, Malacosteus niger, Eurypharynx pelicanoides
Some fish of the deep: Sloane’s Viperfish, Humpback Blackdevil, Black Swallower, Pelican Eel.
The fish presented here have very different hunting strategies, all fitting into a specific niche in their environment:
- Sloane’s Viperfish actively hunts down prey, rockets towards them, impaling them on its long teeth, using a modified first vertebra to absorb the shock of the impact.
- The Humpback Blackdevil (Deep-Sea Anglerfish/Black Seadevil) stays still, and attracts crustaceans and lanternfish/bristlemouths with its lure, before gulping them down, often while they’re still alive.
- Black Swallowers find other bony fishes, grip them by their tail, and “walks” its jaws over the prey until the prey is fully coiled within their huge distendable stomach.
- Pelican Eels have huge jaws that are detachable, like a snake, and a massive stomach capacity. But despite this, their teeth are tiny, and their primary diet is small crustaceans.
Cool fish with cool ways of eating!
The Mighty Deep and What We Know of It. Agnes Giberne, 1902.