Anglerfish close-up • Anglerfish close up

The anglerfish wiggles a bait, or esca (see arrow) to lure its prey. Notice the branched skin flaps that help the undersea angler blend into its surroundings.

Some anglerfish are also notable for extreme sexual dimorphism and sexual symbiosis of the small male with the much larger female, seen in the suborder.

In these species, males may be several orders of magnitude smaller than females.

Some are pelagic (dwelling away from the sea floor), while others are benthic (dwelling close to the sea floor); some live in the deep sea, while others on the continental shelf.

Pelagic forms are most laterally compressed, whereas the benthic forms are often extremely dorsoventrally compressed (depressed), often with large upward-pointing mouths.

Islands in the Stream: May 10 – October 3, 2001

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