If you’ve ever watched “Finding Nemo,” you’ve seen the rare black seadevil anglerfish. However, scientists have finally filmed one in the wild about 2,000 feet below the surface in Monterey Canyon, off the coast of California. This elusive fish, only 3.5″, has been filmed a total of six times, but scientists say never in the wild and never at such a depth.
Researchers say they don’t know much about them yet, but believe this is an exciting opportunity to learn more. The seadevil uses a light attached to a sort of “fishing pole” on top of their head to lure prey in close to their mouth, as anyone familiar with the adventures of Nemo and Dory could tell you. What the kid favorite doesn’t portray is the relations between male and female seadevils. MBARI senior scientist Bruce Robison said that when a male finds a female, he
“bites into the body of the female, and their tissues fuse. The male’s body degenerates until it’s a lump of tissue surrounding testicles.”
The female then carries the male around for the rest of her life, sometimes “mating” with more throughout her lifetime. Robison said he has seen up to 11 males attached to a single female.
“The deep sea is filled with surprises and wonderful creatures. Humans have only just begun to explore this vast realm, and we can only imagine what discoveries are yet to be made.”
University of Washington expert Ted Pietsch told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that “if they (the males) don’t find a female mate, they drown. They are not even properly equipped to eat.”