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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Tripodfish Bathypterois grallator

The deep ocean floor where the tripodfish lives consists largely of soft mud. So, to prevent itself from sinking into the ooze while lying in wait for its prey, this fish perches on a tripod made from elongated rays of its pelvic and caudal fins. Facing into the current, it waits for small crustaceans to drift within reach, catching them in its mouth, which has a large gape. The tripodfish has very small eyes and is thought to detect its prey by feeling for tiny vibrations in the water.

Tripodfish habitat mapzoom image
  • Order Aulopiformes
  • Length Up to 15 in (37 cm)
  • Weight Not recorded
  • Depth 2,900–11,500 ft (875–3,500 m)
  • Distribution Deep waters of Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans