Deep Sea

The Male Anglerfish Fuses To Flesh During Mating

The mating ritual of the anglerfish is just as bizarre as its startling looks. This deep-sea fish engages in parasitic mating. The male attaches to the female by biting her and digesting his own face, effectively fusing himself onto the flesh of the much larger female anglerfish. The male then atrophies, losing its eyes, fins, and some internal organs until all that is left if its gonads. The gonads leftover will then release sperm to the female when it is needed. For deep-sea critters that may not see much of each other, this fusion style of mating is a necessary adaptation to make sure mates stay close enough at hand to spawn.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The male anglerfish is tiny in comparison to the female. 00:06

  2. The male anglerfish fuses onto the flesh of the female during mating. 00:22

  3. The anglerfish is a master of camouflage on the ocean floor. 00:49

Written by Curiosity Staff August 26, 2014

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