Fish of the Week: Blobfish

Blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus)

Courtesy of the Science Channel online
Courtesy of the Science Channel online

You’ve probably seen this fish before, in the weirdest looking animal category (it made the top 10 for the Science Channel!). The blobfish is a deep sea dweller off the coast of Australia and Tasmania. It lives at depths of up to 800m of the sea floor. At those depths, with so much pressure from the water above pressing down, the blobfish’s gelatinous consistency allows it to move across the bottom. At lesser depths, fish regulate their buoyancy, what enables them to leave the bottom of the ocean, via a swim bladder. At such high pressures, a fish would not be able to keep a swim bladder inflated sufficiently. The blobfish is content to float along the sea floor and gobble up anything that swims in front of its mouth.

The blobfish is currently in some danger of extinction, due to overfishing for other bottom dwellers, such as crabs and lobsters. For more information, check out this article from the UK Telegraph.

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