Video captures anglerfish in a sexual hookup


A video still shows a female anglerfish with whiskery fin-rays glowing in the deep-sea dark. The rays may be bioluminescent, or they may be reflecting light from a submersible’s lamps. The male of the species can be seen hanging from the female’s belly. (Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation Photo)

Scientists studying deep-sea anglerfish have long known about the bizarre mismatch between the species’ whiskered females and teeny-tiny males. But they’ve never captured video of live fish mating — until now.

A newly released video, captured by researchers Kirsten and Joachim Jakobsen during a five-hour dive in a submersible off the Azores in the mid-Atlantic, documents the sexual hookup for the first time.

Ted Pietsch, a University of Washington professor emeritus of aquatic and fishery sciences and curator emeritus of fishes at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, was stunned by the footage.

“This is a unique and never-before-seen thing,” Pietsch said in a UW news release issued March 22. “It’s so wonderful to have a clear window on something only imagined before this.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
This entry was posted in GeekWire and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.