The first known video footage of a ‘Black Seadevil’ anglerfish was released on Friday, Nov. 21 by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

The Black Seadevil Anglerfish

The anglerfish is a deep-sea creature, making it a rare sight for humans – the video was captured 2,000 feet (or 800 meters) beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Monterey, Calif., on Nov. 17.

Dr. Bruce Robison of the Monterey Bay Aquarium said that they believe the video to be the first ever footage of an anglerfish in its natural habitat. “This is the first time we’ve captured this fish on video in its habitat. Anglerfish, like this Melanocetus, are among the most rarely seen of all deep-sea fishes,” Robison said.

The Female Anglerfish: “Ambush Predator”

The female anglerfish in the video is described as an “ambush predator.” The female anglerfish is equipped with a “fishing rod” that uses a small light to attract pray and then inhales their pray once in range. The ‘Black Seadevil’ depicted in the video is only 9 centimeters long, but can reportedly expand its stomach in order to feed on larger prey. The female anglerfish attack was depicted in the popular Pixar animated film, Finding Nemo.

Male anglerfish, however, are not equipped with a “fishing rod.” In fact, males live as tiny parasites on females, and, if they do not find a female to attach themselves to, they drown.

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