The depths of the sea hide a creature that seems to have emerged from a nightmare: the Fangtooth fish, a feat of nature.
The Fangtooth fish is one of the rarest fish because of its strange morphology, but don’t let appearances deceive you because its amazing gifts will surely leave you speechless.
Besides, this species knows more than one trick to survive in one of the most inhospitable, unexplored and remote environments on earth.
Distinctive features of the Fangtooth Fish
With an approximate size of about 18 centimeters, this fish has in very little space many striking features.
Its body is compact from all angles and gets thinner towards the tail.
The head of this rare animal has a high viscosity and is larger than the rest of the body.
Its fins are not abnormal, rather they are standard. But its scales are very thin and quite close to the body.
These fish are usually dark brown, but there are also black specimens.
On their body some variations in uniformity can be distinguished, very well demarcated by their thin skin.
The eyes are small, although they compensate for this detail with elongated grooves on the sides.
When they are in the larval stage they have spiny formations that protect them from predators, evoking the idea of a thorny desert crop.
Observing it in these conditions, it would be almost impossible to imagine it with a more or less slender body in the adult stage. Its change is so radical that it fits perfectly into the definition of metamorphosis.
Another outstanding detail is its impressive jaws with large teeth and arranged in opposition to the outside, which cancels out the possibilities of escape from its prey.
Something that also differentiates the Fangtooth fish from the rest of the animals in its habitat is that it does not possess light cells or any substance that causes any kind of luminosity.
Fangtooth fish Habitat
The Fangtooth is completely adapted to pelagic life, although it has been seen near the surface at night, perhaps in search of food.
It is not known for certain how far this rare species extends, although its presence has been confirmed in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas and the south-eastern United States.
Despite this, there are good reasons to assume that they also inhabit other areas of the world where conditions are also present, such as those in areas where their presence has already been confirmed.
What do Fangtooth Fish eat?
In the depths of the sea it may seem that there is not much food, but the species that inhabit these places manage to survive, and the Fangtooth fish is no exception.
Its diet is made up of almost any fish or crustacean that can enter its mouth. They’re active hunters, so ambush is not in their arsenal.
Although its vision is adapted to darkness, it has a very successful hunting technique, as it uses the shadows it perceives above its head, sensing the size and type of potential prey. Although it is a technique that requires patience, it almost never fails.
How does this Strange Fish reproduce?
It seems that the reproductive process of this rare animal is similar to that of many other fish.
The female expels the eggs and the male fertilizes them by throwing a cloud of spermatozoa at them.
It is not yet known if after hatching, the parents give them some kind of care or if they leave them adrift, confident in their highly efficient protection system they have in their larval state and which we have already mentioned in the section on characteristics.
Predators and Threats
The main threats facing this rare fish are caused by the action of man.
For example, the greenhouse effect that melts the polar ice caps is causing serious changes in the areas populated by the Fangtooth, altering the fragile ecosystem on which it depends.
This alteration is specifically evidenced by the change in sea temperature, which in turn generates variations in marine currents affecting the migration cycle of the fish that serve as its food.
On the other hand, the great industrial accidents that have contaminated the sea, together with the waste thrown into the ocean, dragged by the marine currents, conjugate a deadly mixture for this particular animal.