Creepy deep sea creatures video series: Part four — the Viperfish

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Continuing our week-long video series on the creepiest deep sea creatures, we take a look at the Viperfish.

A viperfish is a saltwater fish in the genus Chauliodus, with long, needle-like teeth and hinged lower jaws. They grow to lengths of 30 to 60 cm (12 – 24 inches).

Viperfish stay near lower depths (250–5,000 feet) in the daytime and shallow at night, primarily in tropical and temperate waters. It is one of the fiercest predators in the deep sea and is believed to attack its prey by luring them with a light-producing organ called a photophore, which is located on the end of its dorsal spine.

It flashes this natural light on and off, at the same time moving its dorsal spine around like a fishing rod and hanging completely still in the water. It also uses the light producing organ to communicate to potential mates and rivals.

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