Tripod fish Facts

Tripod fish Facts
Tripod fish is a type of benthic fish (animal that lives on the ocean floor). It can be found in temperate and tropical waters of Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Tripod fish is a resident of the abyssal zone. It lives on a sea floor, on a depth from 2 950 to 15 400 feet. Thanks to the life on great depth, tripod fish is still protected from negative human activities. Population of tripod fish is large and stable in the wild and this animal is not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Tripod fish Facts:
Tripod fish can reach 12 to 14 inches in length.
Tripod fish has bronze colored body. Head, belly and lower part of the backs are covered with grey markings.
Tripod fish is known as "stilt walker" because it uses three elongated structures to walk on the sea floor. When fish stands still - it looks like a tripod, hence the name.
Unusual appendages are actually prolonged rays of pelvic and caudal fins.
Modified fins can reach 3.3 feet in length. They are three times longer than the body.
Elongated rays are rigid when fish stands on the ocean floor and flexible when fish swims. Researchers believe that fish uses some sort of "water pump" to regulate rigidity of rays.
Eyes of tripod fish are almost completely reduced and fish cannot rely on the vision to orient in the space. This represents specific adaptation to the life in the darkness.
Tripod fish possesses long, feathery pectoral fins that are used as tactile organ. They float in front of the fish and detect movement of the water and potential prey. When edible prey is detected, tripod fish catches it and transports it directly into the mouth (these fins are also used as hands).
Scientific name of the tripod fish is "Bathypterois grallator". Name originates from Greek and Latin languages and it literally means "deep" ("bathy"), "feathery" ("pterois") "one who walks on stilts" ("grallator").
Tripod fish is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet includes small crustaceans, shrimps, fish and zooplankton.
Tripod fish positions its body upstream, toward the water current and waits for the prey to come. Main purpose of elongated structures is to lift the fish from the ocean floor where water current doesn't exist. This tactic ensures preservation of energy (tripod fish doesn't move when hunts) and continual supplying with the prey (which ocean current brings).
Tripod fish is solitary animal. This life style is a result of a life in harsh environment.
Tripod fish are hermaphrodites (one fish possesses both type of reproductive organs). They are able to self-reproduce when they cannot find mating partner.
When two tripod fish meet, one fish donates eggs, while other donates sperm cells. Both types of cells are released into the water, where fertilization takes place.
Exact lifespan of tripod fish is unknown. Experts believe that tripod fish can survive from one to couple of years.

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