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Tripod Fish captured by remotely operated vehicle

Posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 at 1:16 pm by

This Tripod fish, Bathypterois grallator, was spotted at a depth of 750 meters by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). This deep sea fish, is appropriately named for the pelvic and lower caudal fin extensions, which give it a distinct look. This fish is usually found stationary on the ocean floor, “standing” on it’s fins at depths of up to 4700 meters.

The Tripod fish hunts for food by positioning itself so that it is facing the flow, then extending it’s long pectoral fins. It then simply waits for small crustaceans to ride the flow directly into it’s fins. Once captured by the fins, the Tripod fish then directs it’s prey towards it’s mouth.

From the author of the video:

It has tiny eyes and hunts for food by sensing vibrations. When a small crustacean bumps into the extended, fan-like pectoral fins; the fish “sweeps” the food toward its mouth. Note how the pelvic and caudal fin rays are rigid while keeping the fish perched above the bottom, but become mere wisps as it swims away. The fish may be up to 37cm, but the fins may be about a meter.

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