This appropriately called fish (Anoplogaster cornuta) has long, dangerous fangs, although the mature fish is only around 6 inches (17 cm) long. It possesses the longest teeth in the ocean relative to its body size, and they are so long that the fangtooth has an adaption that allows it to seal its mouth! When the fish’s jaw is closed, special pouches on the roof of its mouth prevent its teeth from penetrating its brain.
- It has been discovered as deep as 5,000 meters (16,404 feet), making it one of the deepest living fish.
- However, it is most frequently found between 500 and 2,000 meters (1,640 and 6,562 feet).
- It dwells in deeper waters during the day and migrates to shallower waters at night to eat.
- This is referred to as a diel migration.
Adult fangtooth fish consume fish and squid, while juveniles filter zooplankton from the water. View further sea creatures with unusual appearances in the Creepy Critters Marine Life slideshow and discover more in the Deep Ocean Exploration section. There is a specimen of a fangtooth on exhibit at the Sant Ocean Hall of the National Museum of Natural History.
How does the fangtooth fish evade extinction?
Fangtooth Feeding Adaptations – One method fangtooth fish find food is by swimming to the surface, where there is more light and more food. These animals also possess two more key characteristics that aid in their ability to hunt. Chemoreception and a wide mouth and teeth are examples.
Alternate Name: Ogrefish The scientific name for this species is Anoplogaster cornuta. Range of sizes: up to 6 inches Habitat: Tropical & temperate areas Range of depth: down to 16,000 feet Image of a canine tooth (Wikipedia Public Domain Image ) The extraordinary fangtooth seemed to have just swum out of a horror film.
- This dangerous species, known technically as Anoplogaster cornuta, inhabits the deep depths of several of the world’s seas.
- The fangtooth receives its name from its impressive-appearing teeth, which are the biggest teeth of any fish in the ocean when compared to body size.
- The fangtooth has gained the term “ogrefish” because of its exceptionally ugly look.
It is also known as the common sabretooth by others. The greatest length of the fangtooth fish is barely six inches, despite its appearance as a real monster (16 centimeters). Its body is short and deep, and its head and mouth are huge. Numerous mucosal canals are divided by serrated ridges in the skull.
- These cavities are covered by a thin layer of skin.
- This fish’s body is coated in microscopic, sharp scales, and its color ranges from black to dark brown.
- It has tiny eyes that are placed high on its head.
- In order to compensate for its relatively weak eyesight, the fangtooth has evolved an extremely prominent lateral line, which enables it to detect movement and vibrations in the surrounding water.
Specimen of a Preserved Fangtooth (Wikipedia Public Domain Image) The teeth are unquestionably the most obvious trait of this species. They are so enormous that when the lower jaw is closed, the fangs slip into specially developed pockets in the roof of the mouth.
These niches expand into brain sockets on either side. As a fangtooth hunts squid and other tiny fish, these teeth become a powerful weapon. Due to its poor eyesight, many experts believe the fangtooth hunts by a mechanism known as chemoreception, in which it must essentially stumble upon something appetizing while it scans the murky waters.
It is thought that these fish move to the higher ocean layers at night to eat and then return to the murky depths by day. If a fangtooth travels too close to the surface, it runs the risk of becoming a meal for marlin or tuna. Fangtooth (Anoplogaster cornutus) from the Atlantic Ocean’s Bear Seamount (Wikipedia Public Domain Image) Fangtooth procreate by depositing eggs that develop into larvae the size of plankton.
- The frequency of their spawning is unknown, however it has been reported between June and August.
- As larvae mature into juveniles, they take on an entirely different appearance from adults.
- Their heads are covered with long spines and have a pale gray tint.
- Additionally, they have bigger eyes and smaller teeth.
This variation in appearance first led experts to believe it was an altogether separate species. In contrast to adults, juveniles filter plankton from the water using specially designed gill rakes. These gill rakes vanish with maturation. When the juveniles reach around three inches in length, they begin to resemble the adults.
They are already beginning to fall into deeper waters. Scientists are still unsure about the average lifespan. The fangtooth is found in temperate and tropical ocean regions around the world, including the seas off the coast of Australia. It is one of the deepest fish species known to date. This species is often found between 600 and 6,500 feet (200 and 2,000 meters), but has been spotted as deep as 5,000 meters (5,000 meters).
At these deep depths, the pressure is strong and the water temperature is close to freezing. The fangtooth is more resilient than other species of deep water. In spite of the significant disparities in temperature and pressure, scientists have been able to maintain them alive for months in captivity.
Have fangtooth teeth?
As with many other deep water fish, the common fangtooth possesses huge, sharp teeth for grabbing prey.
The sensory canals of the lateral lines are particularly prominent and give benefits in predator avoidance and prey eating.