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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Blackfin Icefish Chaenocephalus aceratus

In the freezing waters around Antarctica, the temperature can fall to nearly 28°F (–2°C). This is below the temperature at which the blood of most fish would freeze. The blackfin icefish has a natural antifreeze in its blood that helps it survive in these conditions. It has no red blood cells and so appears a ghostly white. This makes its blood thinner so that it can flow freely in the cold temperatures. The blackfin icefish is a sluggish hunter of small fish and krill and needs little oxygen.

Blackfin Icefish habitat mapzoom image
  • Order Perciformes
  • Length Up to 28 in (72 cm)
  • Weight Up to 7 lb (3.5 kg)
  • Depth 16–2,500 ft (5–770 m)
  • Distribution Polar waters of Southern Ocean around northern Antarctica