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Lanternfish


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The lanternfish is a common, deep-sea dweller that has many light-producing organs along its body, especially the belly. This fish lives in a dark environment, and its bio-luminescent organs light up as the lanternfish swims. It uses its lights to lure prey to it and to attract other fish.

Lanternfish live in mid-ocean depths (several hundred feet down) but swim to the surface at night. They are found in oceans all over the world. The different species of Lanternfish have different patterns of light and are different colors.

Anatomy: Lanternfish have huge eyes and a series of light-producing organs along their underside. The largest Lanternfish are rarely over 1 foot (30 cm) long. Myctophum affine (pictured on this page) is up to 5 inches (15 cm) long and has silver scales.

Diet: Lanternfish eat copepods (small invertebrates with big eyes and long antennae) and amphipods (like shrimp).

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