Fun Fact Friday: Fishing Pole Fish

(Photo by Theodore Pietsch)

Did you know that some fish have a built-in “fishing pole” on the top of their head, that they use to lure in other fish? It’s true!

Angler-fish are typically spiny or bony, with teeth that are angled inward, almost like a trap. They have a long appendage on the top of their heads, called “illicium”, and at the end of the appendage is a small growth that functions similarly to a fishing lure. In the murky depths of the ocean, angler-fish lurk, waiting for their prey to approach.

Smaller fish looking for a meal are drawn to the angler-fish’s “lure”, and by the time they get close enough to realize that something is amiss, they usually end up becoming a meal themselves!

There are many kinds of angler fish, but one thing that most of them have in common is that they are unlikely to win any beauty contests. Many dwell in the deep in the ocean, where there isn’t much light, making their peculiar talent for “fishing” all the more effective!

As you can see, if you were a fish, you definitely would want to steer clear of these crafty fellows!



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