|What do angler fish eat?|
|Question Date: 2015-07-02|
Angler fish are not picky. There is very
little life at the bottom of the ocean where they
live. If something comes close enough, they will
eat it. Anything that is swimming around deep
enough could be eaten, but predators looking for
prey are the most likely to check out the
anglerfish’s lure. This may include other fish.
The anglerfish has huge jaws, so she can eat fish
larger than she is. There are also other animals
that may end up as anglerfish prey. For example,
a squid might also fall for the anglerfish’s trick
and become a meal.
Why do you think there is so little life at
the bottom of the ocean?
If questions like this interest you, you might
want to study fish ecology.
Thanks for asking,
Angler fish are carnivorous and not
particularly peaky eaters. They eat
crustaceans, shrimp other fish and snails. Females
have a part of their spine that comes over their
mouths that have bait at the ends to catch their
prey. They can swallow prey up to twice their size
because their mouths are so big and their bodies
are so flexible. Their teeth make it so that their
prey cannot escape their mouths.
The males do not have the same features of
females for eating because when they reach
adulthood, their digestive system no longer
functions. They latch on to the females with their
teeth Over time, they fuse with the female by
connecting skin, bloodstream and organs together.
So, the nutrition of the male comes from whatever
the female eats.
Anglerfish is a name for many species of
salt-water fishes that live off the coast of
Europe and range in length from three inches (7.5
cm) to four feet (120 cm). All of them are
carnivorous, meaning they eat other fish and sea
animals, but what species they eat depends on
where the anglerfish live and their size.
Female anglerfish have a spiny fin that grows
from the top of their head, which looks like a
fishing rod. The end of the spine looks a little
like a worm that other animals might like to eat.
When those animals come to eat the “worm”, the
anglerfish eats them instead. By luring their food
to them, anglerfish can spend less energy looking
This allows some species of anglers to live in
places where food is scarce, like up to depths of
3,300 ft (1 km). There is very little light to see
by in the deep ocean and little plant-like
plankton to eat. Many fish that live there have
sacs filled with bacteria that produce light (via
bioluminescence) that they use to see in the dark.
Some anglers have one of these sacs at the end of
their spine. Other predators swim close, expecting
to find a small fish looking for plankton, but
find the big anglerfish instead! Poor fish, squid,
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