Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Abyssal Grenadier

Coryphaenoides armatus
Today's animal is one of those deep sea fish that we so uncommonly see alive. Even though they live in all of the world's oceans, the Abyssal Grenadiers normally hang out between 1,000 and 15,000 feet down!

These fish are abundant in the dark depths of the oceans. As adults they can grow nearly a meter in length, though smaller sizes are more common. They feed on other fish, sea urchins, crustaceans, and cephalopods.

Abyssal Grenadiers have a very distinct look to them. They have large heads (featuring large eyes) but bodies that taper out into a tail that completely lacks a caudal fin, along with spined fins that run down both their dorsal and central sides. These fish are known to be very slow-growing, and live as long as 60 years.

Amazingly, while many fish species are suffering, the Abyssal Grenadier populations are booming! They live so far down that they aren't affected by the fishing industry, and between 1989 and 2004 they doubled in number. Scientists don't know much else about them though. Their reproductive habits are unknown, and they have never been kept in captivity.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Worldwide
Size : Length up to 1m
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Gadiformes
Family : Macrouridae -- Genus : Coryphaenoides -- Species : C. armatus
Images : Fishbase

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