KOMPAS.com – Anglerfish is one of the deep sea fish which has a scary appearance. How not, this fish has a rather strange shape with sharp teeth and glowing balls hanging from the ends of its antennae.
Fish marriage anglerfish even somewhat unusual and extreme, because they will stick to each other like an organ transplant. This is because it is difficult to find a partner in the very dark depths of the sea.
Launch Science News, Thursday (30/7/2020) anglerfish male will merge the tissues in his body with the body female larger ones during mating. When male anglerfish look for mates, they will follow the female pheromones.
After finding the female, they will bite the female’s abdomen and stick until her body is fused.
The skin of the male and female are joined together, as well as the blood vessels that allow the male to take all the nutrients from his partner’s blood.
Interestingly, the anglerfish is the only animal known to reproduce this way.
With his body attached like this, the male anglerfish doesn’t need to swim or forage as usual. They will rely on female anglerfish to survive.
Reported from Mental Floss, Tuesday (22/7/2014) when the marriage takes place, the body parts that are no longer needed such as eyes, fins, and some internal organs stop growing and shrink.
The males who cling like left these will continue to take food from the female and provide sperm whenever they are ready to lay eggs.
Previously, experts still wondered why the immune system of male and female anglerfish did not resist when the body’s tissue attachment process took place.
However, now they know the cause. According to research published in the journal Science in 2020, when attached to a mate, anglerfish may not have to evade the immune system.
The researchers explained that some anglerfish species lack a core gene in the body’s immune response, which makes fusion or fusion without risk of death in fish.
“When you see (these fish), you may be confused and ask how is that possible? But this creature seems to be doing it without knowing what’s going on,” said the immunologist from Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany, Thomas Boehm.
Boehm and his team started the experiment by isolating DNA from 31 anglerfish representing 10 deep-sea species. A total of four species, male fish were found attached to the female, but only temporarily.
Six other species were found to have permanently fused bodies, with one or more males attached to one female.
When compared to anglerfish that did not fuse with their partners, the fused species had the missing gene, which then helped produce new antibodies. This allows the male to remain attached to the female.
The research team found two species in which multiple males cling to one female: the anglerfish Photocorynus spiniceps and Haplophryne mollis.
For information, anglerfish belong to a group of fish called the order Lophiiformes, in this order there is a sub-order Ceratioidei, specifically for the strangest group of anglerfish.
Altogether, there are 160 species in the suborder and are usually found at depths below 300 meters above sea level.
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