Dragonfish Ocean Monster
Like many deep ocean monsters, the Dragonfish is not very large. They can reach 7 inches in length, similar to that of a Red Belly Piranha.
There is little known about this terrifying looking fish of the deep. The Dragonfish, (Grammatostomias flagellibarba), also known as the scaleless dragonfish is known for its very large teeth and glowing barbel.
The Dragonfish is located deep in the ocean, but is most concentrated along the atlantic seaboard of North America and towards Europe and Africa. Water temperature is not a big deciding factor as the water temperature at its depth is very close to freezing.
Dragonfish Features and Size
Like many deep ocean monsters, the Dragonfish is not very large. They can reach 7 inches in length, similar to that of a Red Belly Piranha. There are three species of Dragonfish , in the genus of Grammatostomias. Each species has the same general appearance and size.
The glowing barbel is one of the most striking features of the Dragonfish next to the large teeth. The light is reduced by a chemical process called bioluminescence by the fish’s organ, the photophore. In some fish, like squid, this organ is manifest as a series of spots.
The light is produced through compounds gather from digesting its prey. The main purpose of the barbel is to attract prey, but it can also be used to attract a mate. Light emitting is not limited to the barbel attached to its chin. It also emits light along the side of its body as well.
The Dragonfish has very large pointed teeth for a fish of this size. Prey is so scarce at the depth where they are found and their large teeth ensure that the prey does not escape from its grasp.
The dragon fish is found deep in the water between 3280 to 9842 feet/1 to 3 kilometres deep. There is not light at this depth. The only light that can be found is generated by other fish. Fish are highly sensitive to chemical signals in the water or use sonar to locate fish and identify their surroundings.
Many site claim that they are found down to 5000 feet but this is not true. Deep sea dives have found these fish to be as deep as three kilometres down, thought this appears to be the extent of their reach. Like many fish, they tend to follow their prey.
Dragonfish Food Preferences
The Dragonfish feeds on small fish and crustaceans, which makes up the bulk of its diet. If it can come across shrimp or other food falling from above, it will also consume this as well. It is not a fussy fish due to the scarcity of food. as well as anything else it can find.
A unique defensive characteristic of this fish is that its stomach is lined with a dark coating to prevent digesting prey from phosperesing and giving away its position to larger fish.