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The Humpback Anglerfish (Melanocetus johnsonii) is a species of anglerfish found in both Endless Ocean and Endless Ocean 2.

Its distinct and simple appearance makes it easy to recognize. Its large, underslung jaw, backwards-pointing teeth, and expandable stomach allow it to capture and eat prey that is quite large in comparison to itself.

Encyclopedia Description

Endless Ocean

"These fish have round, skinny bodies and a large protrusion that juts from the head. They are mostly black in color, with occasional red mottling. They can be seen year-round in deep, dark parts of the ocean.

They have extremely large, upward-facing mouths with rows of long teeth on each section of the jaw. The protrusions that stem from their heads emit light used to draw prey towards their gaping mouths, where they then swallow it whole.

Because their teeth point inward, captured prey have very little hope of escape. These fish can also inflate their stomachs and abdominal regions to incredible sizes, which allows them to consume prey far bigger than they are. However, these fish have been known to bite off more than they can chew and actually perish while trying to swallow a fish that was simply too large."

Endless Ocean 2

"This fish has a huge mouth and long teeth, along with a special glowing protrusion growing from its head. It waves the protrusion to lure prey close, then eats it whole."

[Bigmouth]

"This anglerfish can puff up its body to swallow prey that is even larger than itself, but if the prey is too large the anglerfish may also die. Its teeth can be pushed inwards but not outwards, so prey cannot escape after being swallowed."

Location

Endless Ocean

Humpback anglerfish can be seen under zoom-mode glows in the Abyss, but they're more easily found in the Abyss's signature caves, such as the Secret Cave and the Crystal Cave.

Endless Ocean 2

Humpback anglerfish are found in the Zahhab Region Depths in the Northern Crevasse, under a zoom-mode glow spot at coordinates B-2. It is recommended that the player bring Oceana in order to make zoom-mode glows easier to find. 

Behavior

These fish behave the same in both games, swimming about idly under zoom-mode glows and responding positively to food. They can be found by themselves, but oftentimes the glows contain single anglerfish accompanied by a barreleye or two, a few firefly squids, or a pair of glass squid.

Notes

  • This is one of Oceana's favorite creatures.
  • The humpback anglerfish is one of several creatures who can possibly be seen on Blue World's title screen.

Real-Life Information

  • Both games remark upon the ability of the humpback anglerfish to capture incredibly large prey, large enough that it may actually die while trying to eat. These reports are accurate[1][2]. The lure it uses is an example of a symbiotic relationship, a type of interaction where two animals regularly benefit from each others' presence: glowing bacteria are allowed to live in the anglerfish's lure, and the anglerfish can then use their light to hunt for prey[3].
  • Other common names for the humpback anglerfish include Johnson's anglerfish and humpback blackdevil[4][5][6]. The former of these originates from the scientist who discovered the fish and lent it the specific name johnsonii, James Yate Johnson[7][8].
  • The humpback anglerfish is a prime example of sexual dimorphism, which is when males and females of a species have different appearances. Females grow up to 7 inches (18 centimeters) in size, whereas males only reach roughly 1 inch (3 centimeters)[2][9].
  • The humpback anglerfish is unique amongst other anglerfishes in that male specimens are non-parasitic. In most cases from the order Lophiiformes (to which the humpback angler belongs), mating requires the male anglerfish to latch onto the underbelly of the female, where he will remain for the rest of his life[10]. Members of the genus Melanocetus do not reproduce this way - rather, the female releases eggs into the water, and the male releases semen, fertilizing the eggs[11][12][13].
    • An example of a deep-sea anglerfish with parasitic reproductive habits is the fanfin. This is remarked upon in both of its in-game descriptions.
  • The humpback anglerfish has a wide range, occurring in the deep waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans[14]. Recently, it was also found in the Antarctic Ocean; the first specimen to be discovered in said locale was retrieved from the stomach of an Antarctic toothfish[15].

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