Today post is about a football-fish, one of the deep-sea angler-fishes. With an huge sexual dimorphism, a female length is more than 10 times bigger than the male. Discovered in the XIXth century's beginning on the shores of Greenland, and described by J.C.H.Reinhardt a zoology professor at the University of Copenhagen.
It's family have been named after the ancient Greek imantos = thong,strap - lophos = crest, Himantolophidae are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. Rarely caught below 1 000 meters deep, it look like female are bad swimmers, more like lie-in-wait predators using their bioluminescent lures, like a strap on their crest. On the other hand male have good swimming organs, huge eyes and olfactory sensors, to maximize their chance to find a female in the darkness of the abyss. Males are tiny, and their mouth is made to hook the female skin and when attached they begin to coalesce (merge), and eventually it becomes a functional gonad when every other organ degenerate, getting all the nutrition from the female blood.
*Stamp FO 539 of Postverk Føroya: Atlantic footballfish - Himantolophus groenlandicus - Astrid Andreasen
We know about 22 species, but we have to remain aware than more of 70 percent of the Earth's surface is underwater. So what other mysterious and unknown species the immensity of the abyss shelter, and how many will come extinct before we even see them for the first time...
It have been a bit shorter, but I'm working hard to create a longer blog post with my next big piece ! hope you've liked this one ! Take Care,
- New York Times article who inspired me to do this fish : https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/29/science/anglerfish-bioluminescence-deep-sea.html?module=inline
- Wikipedia contributors, "Footballfish," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Footballfish&oldid=924116885 (accessed November 17, 2019).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Johan Reinhardt," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Johan_Reinhardt&oldid=745589270 (accessed November 17, 2019).