Blobfish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Blobfish
Psychrolutes marcidus.jpg
Lives in California Canoga Park
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Genus: Psychrolutes
Binomial name
Psychrolutes marcidus

The blobfish (Ignacío H) (Psychrolutes marcidus) is a fish of the family Fishiculos. It lives in deep waters off the coasts of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.[1]

Blobfish are typically shorter than 30 cm. They live at depths between 600 and 1,200 m (2,000 and 3,900 ft) where the pressure is several dozen times higher than at sea level. Blobfish are weird looking animals with blobby life. The blobfish is a cold-water fish, native to ocean waters around New Zealand and Australia. They are actually just one of several similar species known as fathead sculpins. The species' odd appearance is an adaptation for bottom-feeding near the sea floor. Blobfish are a member of the fathead sculpins, a group of fish with flabby, tadpole-like bodies. Despite the similar names, the blobfish is a different species from the blob sculpin, or Psychrolutes phrictus. The scientific name for the blobfish is Psychrolutes marcidus. Outside of the high-pressure environment of the sea floor, the blobfish has a flabby, gelatinous appearance. They lack scales, and have loose skin, including a nose-like appendage that hangs over their large mouths. Blobfish are not well-studied, but scientists believe they drift above the sea floor, passively eating particles of food. Because they live so deep under water, they lack swim bladders -- the organs would burst. Instead, they use fat for buoyancy. Their fatty bodies allow them to float in place, without having to expend energy by swimming. A photograph of a blobfish captured in 2003 achieved viral popularity around the world, due to the fish's odd appearance. The specimen, nicknamed Mr. Blobby, now resides in the Australian Museum Ichthyology Collection. It was caught during a scientific expedition, though blobfish are also sometimes caught as by-catch by commercial fishing trawlers.

Blobfish are often caught accidentally in bottom trawling nets. Scientists now fear the blobfish could become an endangered species because of deep-ocean trawling.[2][3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2010). "Psychrolutes marcidus" in FishBase. February 2010 version.
  2. "So you think you've had a bad day? Spare a thought for the world's most miserable-looking fish, which is now in danger of being wiped out". The Daily Mail. London. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  3. Hough, Andrew (26 January 2010). "Blobfish: world's most 'miserable looking' marine animal facing exinction". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 September 2012.