There aren't many pictures of these guys...right side is the mouth!
This week’s blog is going to feature some sea creatures some would consider frightening, in honor of Halloween. First off is the gulper eel (officially the Umbrella mouth gulper eel), a member of the order Saccopharyngiformes. These scary looking fish live at depths of up to 3,000 m! The eels eat shrimp, plankton, fish and basically whatever else swims into their mouths. To attract prey they have a bioluminescent organ on their tails.
The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is something you would not want to run into unexpectedly on a night dive (not that it would be possible to go as deep as they live!). The blobfish has a reason for being so gelatinous though; its flesh is a lower density than water, which allows it to float without expending energy. Blobfish are facing extinction due to practices such as bottom trawling and deep sea fishing.
A far stretch from the roly-poly bugs in your backyard, giant isopods (of the genus Bathynomus) are much more frightening. Their bodies are composed of many interlocking plates, and their eyes are compound with over 4,000 individual parts. Giant isopods are scavengers, and they live in the benthic environment, often at great depths.
We are the University of Miami Aquarium Club. Blog topics will include anything and everything aquarium related.