Mother Nature seems to always have something to keep us surprised. Every time we gaze with awe at something, some other creation of her comes right in front of our eyes to surprise us. While there is no shortage of ‘ugly’ on land, the true treasures are revealed in the unfathomable depths of deep oceans. Once such surprise is the Pacific Blackdragon – a type of fish that doesn’t really look like one. Let us waste time no further and learn 20 interesting Pacific Blackdragon facts.
Interesting Pacific Blackdragon Facts: 1-10
1. Found in southern hemisphere, the Pacific Blackdragon lives in temperate and subtropical waters.
2. They are found in Pacific Ocean and hence the name.
3. They are deep sea creatures and are usually found at the depths of 6,562 feet or 2,000 meters from the ocean surface.
4. Though they lurk in such great depths, they still occasional swim up close to the surface while following preys like small crustaceans or small fish.
5. This fish species is known for its unusual traits. For instance, the species is sexually dimorphic. This means that the males and females are extremely different from each other not just in their looks, but also in aspects like feeding habits and lifespan.
6. The females are dominant when it comes to lifespan. Males are known to live only long enough for mating. Once they mate, the males die but females continue to live.
7. Females have fang-like teeth and chin barrels. These features are absent in males.
8. Females grow up to a length of up to 60 centimeters. In contrast, males grow up to 5 centimeters in length.
9. Females have functional guts and they use their fang-like teeth to capture prey. The males on the other hand don’t even have a functional gut.
10. Lack of teeth and gut in males mean that they don’t eat. They just grow and live until they mate. Once they mate, they die.
Interesting Pacific Blackdragon Facts: 11-20
11. Females have ink-black skin color while males have dark brown skin color.
12. Females have a distinguishing chin barrel (absent in males) which is like a long stalk. At the tip of the barrel is a solitary photophore which glows in the dark and is used for luring in prey.
13. Scientists believe that this extraordinary difference between the sexes is Mother Nature’s way to reducing competition for life-supporting resources that are limited in availability while preserving the means of genetic mix through sexual reproduction.
14. The adult females have long eel-like appearance while the males never really make it out of their larval development stage.
15. Males, for as long as they survive, get their energy from the egg yolk.
16. Irrespective of the sex, the larvae are pretty unusual as well. At birth, they are transparent in color.
17. The most unusual trait of larvae is that they have two long stalks extending out of their head. These stalks are responsible for holding the eyes.
18. As the larvae grow over time, the stalks shrink and get small gradually and eventually, the eyes get fitted to sockets on their heads.
19. Females have the innards of their stomachs lined with black tissue that prevent light from going out from inside their stomach.
20. Pacific Blackdragons feed on bioluminescent creatures. Once inside the stomach these creatures can emit light that can actually pass through the stomach wall. The black tissue lining inside the stomach of the female Pacific Blackdragons prevents this from happening, thus sealing off all possible lights that can possibly warn a potential prey.