Divers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in have captured footage of a black sea devil for the first time.
Black sea devils are also called anglerfish and they have protrusions like rods on their foreheads, on the tip of which there is a light used by the fish to capture its prey very far underwater where it is very dark.
The rare fish was seen by the remote control operated vehicle Doc Ricketts while exploring the water of the Californian Monterey Bay at 1,900 feet below the surface of the water.
Senior scientist at MBARI, Bruce Robinson said:
“This is the first time we’ve captured this fish on video in its habitat. Anglerfish like this Melanocetus are among the most rarely seen of all deep-sea fishes,”
The anglerfish has rarely been seen on camera before this time. Even though the creatures look frightening the black sea devil seen in the video is just around 1.3 inches. The black sea devils are not believed to be found rarely in the wild but they are not seen often by humans because of the way they isolate themselves. Efforts of raising the anglerfish in captivity have not seen much success.
Spokesperson for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Kim Fulton-Bennett told the press that there might be numerous anglerfish in the sea because the deep sea is a very huge place and we are looking at only a small part of it.
Five Melanocetidae species are known to be in existence. Four of the five species are living in the tropical and temperate waters of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. One of the species is only known from Antarctica’s Ross Sea. The word Melanocetidae comes from the Ancient Greek word for black which is melanos. The other half, comes from the word cetus which means whale or sea monster.
A symbiotic bacterium in the Vibrionaceae family generates the light at the top of the black sea devil’s rod. Each of the species of anglerfish seems to use the distinct types of the bacteria.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute officials stated in the description of the video posted on the MBARI YouTube channel:
“We believe that this is the first video footage ever made of this species alive and at depth,”
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