Scary Fish Caught on Video for 1st Time

It's called the black seadevil
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2014 2:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Talk about nasty: She's got serious fangs, a jutting jaw, and a light-pole attached to her forehead. But then, she's only 3.5 inches long. For the first time, scientists shot video this week of the rarely observed black seadevil during a dive in Monterey Bay, Calif., Fox News reports. The deep-sea anglerfish, which attracts prey with its luminescent pole, was seen swimming about 1,900 feet down in dark waters (but can survive in freezing temperatures about four times deeper, the San Jose Mercury News notes). "We've been diving out here in the Monterey Canyon regularly for 25 years, and we've seen three," says Bruce Robinson, a senior scientist in the dive. They captured the fish but aren't sure how long it will live, he adds.

Called Melanocetus, the creature attracts smaller squid and fish with its "flashlight-like appendage" and inhales "the prey caught in its sharp teeth," USA Today reports. Robinson calls the fish "ambush predators." Their male counterparts, however, are much smaller, live a shorter time, and attach themselves to a female like parasites. "If they don't find a female, they drown," a professor says. "They're not even properly equipped to eat." Robinson's team spotted the fish while analyzing a slight warming in sea temperatures, which is lowering the oxygen supply and affecting sea life. "You can see that the temperature is creeping up slowly, probably because of global warming," says Robinson. (Read about a 100-year-old woman who saw the ocean for the first time.)

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