Anglerfish don't just mate- they bond for life, literally. The tiny male bites into a female, and never lets go. He eventually becomes fused with her body. She provides nutrients to keep him alive, and he provides sperm for her eggs. The scary-looking anglerfish lives so deep in the ocean that they very rarely survive being brought to the surface. What we know about them is mainly from studying dead specimens. But in 2016, a mating pair was captured on video for the first time.
The video was captured at a depth of 800 meters by deep-sea explorers Kirsten and Joachim Jakobsen in a submersible. The husband and wife team was nearing the end of a grueling 5-hour dive along a steep deep-sea wall on the south side of São Jorge Island, when “something with a funny form” caught their eye, Kirsten Jakobsen says. Aborting their plan to surface, the filmmakers followed the strange creature around for 25 minutes, capturing its movements through the submersible’s 1.4-meter-wide window. It was exciting, but also challenging to maneuver the craft to get the best images because the female was only about 16 centimeters long, she says.Read more about anglerfish and how this video was taken at Science. (via Damn Interesting)
After surfacing, the duo sent the video to Pietsch, who identified the species as Caulophryne jordani, known as the fanfin angler. He was entranced by the species’s “gracefulness,” especially the way those whiskerlike structures—called filaments and fin rays—enveloped the animal. “Any prey item touching one of those would cause the angler to turn and gobble up that particular animal,” he says. “They can’t afford to let a meal go by because there’s so little to eat down there.” The video was captured in August 2016, but this is the first time it’s been released to the public.