The Monkfish (Lophius piscatorius)
This anglerfish lies half-buried in the mud or sand on the bottom of the sea, attracting fish to its huge mouth by means of its lure. Fish are drawn in by the sudden inrush of water. This method of feeding is a speciality of the various groups of anglerfish worldwide.
Anglerfish spawn between May and June in British waters, and between June and August in the North Atlantic. The eggs, numbering up to a million, are contained in a band of mucus about 10 metres long, released to drift in the open ocean. The larvae, when they hatch, look just as extraordinary as the adult fish. They mature at a length of 40 cm and at an age of four years for males, and a length of 70 cm and an age of six years for females. A fully-grown adult anglerfish may live for 20 years or more.
(read more: Encyclopedia of Life)
(photos: T - Nordsømuseet Hirtshals; ML/B - SERPENT Project; MR - National Museums Northern Ireland)