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The Deep Sea Angler Fish

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by

Danielle Galvan

on 16 December 2014

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Transcript of The Deep Sea Angler Fish

Environment
The angler fish is found in the depths of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans in the Abyssopalagic Zone
The Abyssopalagic Zone is located 13,000-20,000 feet below sea level
This region receives absolutely no sunlight and is completely dark, it also has extreme levels of high pressure and is freezing cold
The abyssal plains cover over 50% of the Earth's surface
Behavior
The Angler Fish lives alone, besides its mate, to prevent losing the scarce source of food it has in the deep.
Because it receives no sunlight, its activity does not vary between night and day.
The female angler fish is a
Secondary Consumer
that attracts prey directly into her mouth with her bio-luminescent lure that is attatched to her head.
The male angler fish is a
parasite
that relys on the female for nutrients by hooking onto her with his small, sharp teeth. He then releases an enzyme that digests the skin of his mouth and her body, fusing the two and joining their blood vessels.
Morphology
When the female angler fish is ready to reproduce she will lay her eggs in a thin jelly-like sheet. This sheet can contain thousands of eggs.
Because she lays so many, the angler fish does not care for her young. Instead, when she is done laying eggs the sheet floats away and the eggs hatch on their own.
The larvae swim to the surface once hatched and feed on plankton.
Once matured, they swim back to the depths of the sea.
Reproduction
The Deep Sea Angler Fish
Angler Fish region
Extentable Jaw (used to swallow large prey whole)
Sharp, fang-like teeth, angled inward to grab prey
The dorsal appendage is a lure that gives off light produced by symbiotic bacteria
Extendable Stomach
Caudal Fin
Pectoral Fin
Gills
Eye
Once the male angler fish reaches maturity, he is already on the search for a mate, not only for reproduction but for survival as he cannot find food for himself. The male has a heightened sensitivity to the female's pheramone and is able to find her easily. After he attaches himself to her as a parasite he eventually atrophies, or wastes away. He loses his digestive organs, brain, heart, and eyes until all that remains is his large testis. The female uses this to fertilize her eggs, which she then releases into the ocean.
Parasitic Male Angler Fish
The angler fish is able to reproduce as much as she can in her lifetime because she doesn't waste energy on caring for her offspring
She is able to impregnate herself almost as soon as she gives birth because of her constant access to the parasite male's sperm
luminescent organ called "esca" at the top of a modified dorsal ray
Distended stomach and intestines
Cranial Cavity
Heart
Eye
Adaptations and Variation
Because food is scarce in the dark depths of the ocean, the angler fish has a developed distended jaw and stomach. This is to swallow large prey whole. They try to feed on large prey to last them longer.
The angler fish also uses its luminated orb to lure prey. Animals are attracted to the light in the darkness and as they swim towards it they are swallowed whole. The angler fish has develeloped with symbiotic bacteria that produces a blue light much like that of a fire-fly.
Natural Selection
The male angler fish has gained an extremely sensitive sense of smell as a result of natural selection. This is because the male depends on his sense of smell to locate the female in the dark by her pheramone. Males that can't find a mate starve and die because they depend on the female as a source of nutrients.
Scientific Name- Lophiiformes
2 Million Years Later....
Because food is so scarce down below in the Abyssopalogic Zone, the angler fish is forced to search for food higher up in the Bathypelagic Zone. This slight change in habitat affects the angler fish because now there is some limited sunlight.
Behavior
The angler fish is now diurnal because it now relies on the presence of sunlight to hunt its prey.
The Female remains a secondary consumer.
The male stays as a parasite because it is still too small and weak to find food on its own.
Reproduction
Males no longer have to rely on an advanced sense of smell to find their mate.
Because it is so much easier to find a mate/host in the sunlight, less males die from starvation and there is an increase in the number of females fertilized.
Females still lay thousands of eggs and don't care for their young, however because more females are being impregnated, there are more eggs being hatched and the population has overall increased.
parasitic male
Food is no longer scarce and the angler fish no longer requires a distended stomach and jaw in order to preserve larger meals. Over time it looses this adaptation.
The angler fish no longer needs an illuminated rod to catch prey. The rod's unique look is still able to lure in prey, but only the angler fish with the most elaborate looking rods are able to do so. Over time, natural selection calls for angler fish to adapt to have more eye-catching rods.
Natural Selection & Adaptations
Bilateral Symmetry
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