What the Fish? Episode 10: Fishy Tales of Terror

In the Deep, No One Can Hear You Scream

The vast expanse of the seas is our destination, and uncontrollable terror is our goal. Join us as we descend into the madness that only total darkness can bring. The deep holds many secrets, and we shall share them with you...including inspirations for sea serpents (Oarfishes - including the photo here taken by our own Leo Smith), fierce predators that hide behind shimmering lights (Anglerfishes), and even the secrets to zombification (Pufferfishes). Caution, don't try zombification at home. Seriously, we don't recommend it. We hope you enjoy our special Halloween and spooky season podcast!


Fish of the Week: Whipnose Angler (Rhynchactis)

Family: Gigantactinidae

Distribution: Found in all oceans at depths greater than 400 meters.

Maximum Size: Around 6 inches

Fun Fact: Male whipnose anglerfishes do not have lures!

Encyclopedia of Life: Rhynchactis

Whipnose anglerfishes in the genus Rhynchactis have an elongated "whip" that they presumably use as a lure. This elongated lure is modified from the first dorsal fin, and unlike other anglerfishes, the whipnose anglerfish does not have an esca that holds bioluminescent bacteria. These anglerfishes are rarely collected or seen, and much information surrounding their biology and feeding habits remain comparatively unknown. Like many deep-sea anglerfishes, there is considerable sexual dimorphism, with males lacking the whip lure. However, there is no evidence to suggest at present that males are parasitic, which is observed in other deep-sea anglerfish groups.


You can download or subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, follow us on Twitter, and tweet us your fishy questions @FM_WhatTheFish, or email us at whatthefish@fieldmuseum.org.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Fish Nerds Podcast Team:

Beth Sanzenbacher

Eric Ahlgren

Leo Smith

Matthew P. Davis


Science Focus: 
The Crown Family PlayLab