Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Gigantactis vanhoeffeni
The name Gigantactis refers to a genus of deep sea fish that can be found in oceans all around the world. They live at depths of between 3,300 and 8,200 feet (1,000-2,500m).

Because they live in such deep, remote places, very little is known about them. So far there have been twenty separate species identified, all of which have different home ranges and sizes.

What is common to all twenty is sexual dimorphism and an elongated dorsal fin. In all species, the females are substantially larger than the males. For example, the largest of them can reach about 40cm long, while the largest males are only about 2.5cm! Huge difference!

The aforementioned dorsal fin is also a signature of the genus. They can grow longer than the body itself, and have a bioluminescent photophore attached at the end to attract meals. These strikingly long features are found only in the females though. Males have their own special anatomy-- they have a supercharged sensory organs that help them to find females!

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Worldwide
Size : Length up to 16in (40cm), but varies
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Lophiiformes
Family : Gigantactinidae -- Genus : Gigantactis
Image : PD

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