Aug. 29, 2012 -- This fish is extremely rare and has never been captured on film before. The Chaunacaops coloratus anglerfish was described in 1899 from a dead specimen, but has never even been filmed alive until now.
The deep-sea fish was filmed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) 7,500-11,000 feet below the surface of the ocean off the coast of northern California. MBARI captured the 8-inch-long anglerfish and learned much about its behavior and habits, the institute said in a press release.
Research suggests the fish are born as a transparent larvae, turn blue as they age and finally red when they are fully mature. Once mature, they can use their fins to "walk" on the sea floor.
During the filming of the rare fish, it attempted to use parts of its body to lure a meal. Anglerfish use special adaptations to attract food close enough to eat. MBARI observed it dangling a "shaggy, mop-like lure," called an esca, from a modified fin between its eyes. Though the fish didn't catch any food, the observation of the behavior was helpful in determining how it hunted, MBARI said.
Source: MBARIImage Credit: YouTube Screengrab