Fish Shapes

Category: General Article

Back to Creep into the DEEPEND

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summary: Fish expert, Dr. Jon Moore, explains how the shapes of deep-sea fishes help them to survive in this extreme environment.

Hi! I’m from Team Fish.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about the fishes we have been finding. The deep-sea fishes we collect are really diverse, with very different shapes and structures depending on their ecology. You can take a look at the shape of a fish and tell a lot about how it behaves and lives.

Finding food is one of the hardest things to do in the deep sea because animals are often scattered far apart from each other. Many deep-sea fishes have long teeth to hold onto food if they find it.

Predatory fishes [Figure 1] can be active swimmers that chase down food. These fishes have a streamlined shape and muscular body that allows them to pass through water faster.

Other fishes hold still and lunge out at food when it gets near [Figure 2]. These fishes often have long bodies with all their fins concentrated at the tail end to give then a strong push forward.

Yet some other fishes save as much energy as possible by making their food come to them. Some use lures to attract prey [Figure 3]. Since these fishes don’t have to swim after anything, they can be fairly round and not very muscular. Some, like this anglerfish also have fins at the back that allow them to lunge forward very short distances.

Thanks for joining us at the DEEPEND.

Dr. Jon Moore, Team Fish and Deep-Sea Explorer



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