Stunning footage of bizarre mating anglerfish with glowing cat’s-whiskers fin rays

In a world’s first, a mating pair of anglerfish is observed in the wild, evoking awe in SAFS professor Ted Pietsch, who comments in UW Today on the video footage by researchers Kirsten and Joachim Jakobsen aboard a submersible run by the Rebikoff-Nigeler Foundation. Only 14 females (and no males) of this species have ever been recorded, all collected in jars and none observed alive in the ocean. Anglerfish males are tiny compared to females: females may be 60 times longer and half a million times heavier than males. Males have enormous eyes and huge nostrils to detect the specific chemicals exuded by females. When a male finds a female, they bite onto and fuse with the female, relying entirely on the female to feed them, while supplying sperm in return. The species observed in the video is the Fanfin Seadevil (Caulophryne jordani) which has enormously elongated fin rays that look a bit like an array of tentacles, each laced with blinking lights, perhaps to attract unwary prey closer to the “fishing lure” hanging above the mouth of the female anglerfish.

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