Deep in the black depths of the ocean the Black Dragonfish lurks, looking like a creature from a horror movie.
The dragonfish with its razor-sharp fangs and glowing tip is eerily reminiscent of the alien from the movie Aliens.
The savage looking fish are typically found over a mile deep in the ocean at depths up to 7,000 feet. Darkness reigns this far down, however the dragonfish is uniquely adapted for these conditions.
The dragonfish has photophores, light producing organs, along parts of its body and at the tip of a long headlight called a barble. The barbel tip acts like a fishing lure winking on and off to attract prey.
They are also able to see their own light, rare among bioluminescent creatures, allowing them to easily navigate the inky blackness of the ocean depths. The light they produce is nearly in the infrared range, invisible to most other creatures and barely visible to humans. This makes the dragonfish uniquely suited as a predator in the deep blackness; its prey blind to the infrared light the dragonfish uses to navigate.
Sexual Dimorphism – Differences in the sexes
The black dragonfish has one of the most extreme cases of sexual dimorphism in the animal kingdom. The Females grow up to 15 inches, much larger than the diminutive males who only reach 2 inches. Only the females have the distinctive look we associate with the black dragonfish, the barbel and the mouth full of razor sharp fangs.
Males have no barbels, no teeth, no functional stomach, they never eat and only live long enough to mate. At least the poor guy probably goes out on a good note!