Depths

Giant Squid

 

 

The giant squid has very large and intelligent eyes. They have ten arms, but two of them are longer than the other eight. Most of them are sixty feet long. Giant squid have sharp beak-like mouths and powerful jaws. In order to catch their prey, they can swim backwards faster than most animals can swim forward. This animal is closer related to the clam than the tuna. They are also a close cousin to the octopus and cuttlefish. People say that they are jet propelled. The giant squid live in the coastal waters around Europe and Canada. They sometimes live in Monterey. Giant squid have a slender pointed body. Their arms are lined with rows or suckers with horny rings around them. The squids body is tinted and spotted with changing colors.

Their beak is like a parrots. The squid mostly eats shrimp and other fish. They will also eat larger sea animals. If they are being attacked, they can squirt out ink-like fluid in the water, so that their enemy can not see what they are doing or where they are going.

The Giant squid is the largest invertebrate in the world. They can be 15 to 20 meters. They come in large numbers. They are eaten by fish, sea birds, marine mammals, and also humans. The Giant squid has never been kept in an aquarium to do research. The squids arms are as big as a man's thigh.

In 1861, a French corvette attacked a 25-foot squid with a cannon and a riffle. One person had a part of a giant squid in his freezer. Since no one had ever tasted the squid, he decided to try it. When he tasted it, it tasted bitter. No one has ever seen the giant squid in its natural habitat. For about 30 years, scientists have been putting bits and pieces of information about the giant squid together to find out where they live and what the best times are to find it.


Dragonfish

The Dragonfish is a member of the family Stomiidae. Stomiids make up the group called Dragonfishes, scaly dragonfishes, loosejaws, snaggletooths, and viperfishes. Most of these stomiids are darkly pigmented. The skin resembles scarlet velvet and with few exceptions has no scales. On this skin there is often tiny light organs scattered all over it. Almost all dragonfishes have a tube-like cord called a barbel, which extends from the lower jaw. This is moveable and is only thought to be a lure to attract prey. The barbel may also be a signaling device used for communication among individuals. A lot of stomiids have large teeth and can eat large prey. The stomiids have a number of specializations for this diet. For example, the ability to lower the internal skeleton of the pectoral fins to allow prey to pass into the gullet. Stomiids have muscular stomachs. These stomachs are lined with black tissue, so that light organs of prey will not shine through their bodies - making them visible to their own predators.

Usually, stomiiforms breed in the deep areas, but the eggs are buoyant and float to the surface where they hatch. As the young grow older, they begin to start looking like an adult form. As they continue to progress, they start moving into deeper waters. Just like other deep-water fishes, some of the stomiiforms change from males to females as they age.

Lots of stomiiforms migrate every night from the resting area in the depths to up near the surface. Up near the surface, the food is plentiful. The food is mainly small fishes and some invertebrates. As the sun lowers to the horizon, the fish follow the fading light. After they feed through the night, they swim back to the depths during the day. Some of the dragonfishes' predators stay in the depths and feed on the dragonfishes as they return from the surface at dawn. These fishes are found in the open waters of all major temperate and subtropical oceans, with some species extending into the subartic and Antarctic waters.

No matter what their shape or size, all but one species of stomiiforms have light organs. These can range from little luminous dots over the body to elaborate arrangements. These include luminous material, lenses, and reflectors. One or two rows along the lower sides of the body is the most common arrangement for these fish. The source of light has been found to be luminous bacteria in all luminous fishes. This light can be produced at a steady glow or intense flashes. The color can vary from pale-yellow and white to bright-red and violet. Stomiids typically have light organs on the tube-like cord called a barbel at the front of the lower jaw. This barbel can have simply a luminous end or it can have other elaborate arrangements. Most stomiids have a large light organ located in the cheek area. This is attached to a muscle in the face area that can rotate it, basically turning it off and on. This functions just like a head light.

Scaly dragonfishes are the only stomiiforms which have scales. They also have a jelly-like substance that covers their body. The black dragonfish is an extreme dragonfish. The young females get up to seven centimeters (2 3/4 inches). The most distinctive feature is the eyes. They extend from the body. As the fish grows, the eye rods are absorbed into the sockets. Male young are small stay small as they grow older. The adult males never feed and have no teeth. On the other hand, females are snake-like and long. They have one of the longest bodies in the order, that exceeds 40 centimeters (15 3/4 inches). There is another group of dragonfishes called loosejaws. They lack skin between the lower jaws. Something interesting is that the lower jaw has no floor. Instead, there is a thin layer of muscle and tissue between the gill basket and lower jaw.

I was interested in the dragonfish once I saw a picture of it. That is how I came about writing this report on the dragonfish.

Click here to see a picture of the dragonfish!


Angler Fish

I did my research on the angler fish. They live in the depths. There are not many other fish down in the depths, so they have theses light things on there heads, and smaller fish come to see what it is. It's real darkdown in the depths, so the fish have to produce there own light. That light I was telling you about acts like a headlight in front of the angler fish's mouth. It's bait for other fish. It sends out this bait to trap other fish. That is its main way of catching its food. Some Angler fish live in families . Females are 30 to 50 centimeters or 20 inches long. The males have an olfactory sense of smell.

 Other fish in the depths can't see, because they don't have any light to see. They must swim to the top of the water to see . There are a lot of other angler fish to be found. Humans are still discovering them. Sometimes squid and the angler fish meet and the squid eats the angler fish, but sometimes the angler fish gets away. The angler fish is a strong fish, so people don't want to meet with one. However, people need to learn more about these fascinating fish, so we can learn more about their habits.


Sperm Whale

Sperm whales are interesting. There scientific classification is mammalia. At birth, the sperm whale can grow up to four meters in length. Adult females can grow up to 12 meters in length. The adult males can grow to be 18 meters in length.

 The sperm whale lives in all oceans of the world. The mother and baby sperm whales live in the warmer waters near the equator. The males live in the colder waters nears the poles.

 The sperm whale preys on the giant squid. The sperm whale has to dive down deep to catch the giant squid. The sperm whale has big battles with the giant squid. They even have scratches on their backs from the battles. That is my report on the sperm whale.


Lantern Fish

Lantern fish are interesting. There are more lantern fish than any other fish in the world. There are several kinds of lantern fish. There are so many lantern fish that people catch and sell them!

The lantern fish plays an important role in the ocean. The lantern fish is 3 cm [1/5 in] to 35cm [14 in] long. The lantern fish weighs 1/100 of an ounce to 8- 3/4 ounces. The lantern fish are small, but have big eyes.

The lantern fish gets its name from the light organs that occur on its head and body. Each organ is focused by the scales. The scales act as a lens to focus the light. That is my report on the lantern fish.


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Date Updated: January 18, 2001