blobfish

Creature Feature – Blobfish

This week’s featured creature is the Smooth-head Blobfish

In honour of Halloween, all featured creatures for the next month will be a famous marine monster – ghoulish yet amazing species that inhabit our oceans. We kick off spooky seasons with perhaps the most famous deep-sea species, the blobfish! A deep-sea fish of the family Psychrolutidae, there are nine recorded species, and they are often considered the ugliest animal worldwide! 

Creature Feature Friday - blobfish

Taxonomy

Scientific Name: Psychrolutes marcidus

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Scorpaeniformes

Family: Psychrolutidae

Genus: Psychrolutes

© National Science Foundation (NSF) / University of Washington / CSSF

Blobfish Fact File

? Size: Individuals can reach up to 30cm in length and weigh up to 2kg

? Distribution: This species inhabits deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, as well as the waters of New Zealand

? Diet: Their diet consists of sea urchins, shellfish, molluscs, crabs, lobsters, and microscopic bacteria

? Behaviour: Species live in some of the deepest pockets of the ocean, at depths between 600 and 1,200m. Here, the pressure can be over 100 x the current atmospheric pressure. As such, they have various adaptations, including a squishy body, with soft bones and very little muscle. When a blobfish is taken out of water, decompression can make it expand and cause its skin to relax, distorting its features and giving it that characteristic big nose

? IUCN Status: Not Listed. Unfortunately, the blobfish has not yet been assessed for inclusion in the Red List of Threatened Species by the IUCN. However, many scientists fear that if assessed, blobfish would be categorised as Critically Endangered. This is due to overfishing (bycatch), habitat destruction via pollution, and climate change