You are here: Life > Fish > Deep-ocean fish

Deep-ocean fish

Deep-ocean fish and other marine life Fish that live in deep waters all the time are adapted to the extreme cold, permanent absence of light, high pressure and scarcity of food. They have large, extremely sensitive eyes to see in the near-black waters. Many are coloured brown or black (or are even see-through) for camouflage, to conceal themselves from predators. Prey is scarce. To take advantage of any prey they encounter, many predators, such as the gulper eel, have huge jaws and stomachs that can stretch to hold fish even larger than themselves.


Bioluminescence

AnglerfishIn the blackness of the deep ocean, some fish are able to produce light from their own bodies, either from their tissues or from special light-producing organs. This feature is known as bioluminescence. These lights may act as a lure to prey animals, or as a signal to others of the same species in the search for mates. They may also be used as search beams, or “flashed” on and off to confuse or temporarily blind an attacker. Sometimes, lights are used as “counter-illumination”, matching the little light filtering down from above and acting as a sort of invisibility cloak.
 

A species of cusk eel is the world’s deepest-living fish. Abyssobrotula galatheae lives in deep-sea trenches at depths of up to 8370 m (27,000 ft).

Q-files now has new sections specially written for younger readers. They are: Living world, Earth, Science, Human body, Prehistoric life, Space, History, Geography and Technology.


Find the answer