In the United States, for an unknown reason, a deep-sea fish washed up on the shore. The Guardian reports this.
Fisherman Ben Estes found on the beach near the California city of Newport Beach angler fish with a width of about 45 centimeters. Moreover, the sample is perfectly preserved.
“I knew it was an unusual find,” Estes told the Guardian. According to him, he considers himself an avid fisherman who spends a lot of time on the beach but has never seen a fish that looks like this before.
Jessica Roame, the education coordinator at Davey’s Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching, told the Los Angeles Times that she thought the fisherman did not fully understand the significance of his find, because this fish, which lives at great depths-usually at a distance of 1,500 meters from the surface-rarely comes to land, and even more so in such perfect condition.
California officials have already contacted the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History in hopes of handing over the rare specimen. There are only three other anglerfishes in the museum’s collection, but only one of them came from California and no fish is in such good condition.
The anglerfish is one of the most famous deep-sea creatures. Its sharp teeth, though menacing in appearance, serve more to lure prey into a trap than to bite it open. Anglerfish lure other fish, squid, and crustaceans with a bright “flashlight” on their head. You probably saw this character in the cartoon “Finding Nemo” but there the fish looked more sinister.
However, only females hunt: males after merging with females lose all their internal organs, including their eyes, and turn into a kind of “sexual parasites,” supplying their mistress with sperm, and in return receiving food and protection. If the male does not find a female, he may soon die, since he is not able to feed himself. Several males can simultaneously parasitize one individual, which lives as long as the female is alive. The first specimen of the anglerfish was discovered in 1833 when it washed ashore in Greenland. Since then, most of the knowledge gathered about this species has come from a few dead individuals who somehow ended up on the shore. Nevertheless, in recent years, researchers have been able to observe them in their natural habitat.