The Atlantic wolffish possesses a countenance that only a mother could adore, yet it surprisingly displays affection. Additionally, it generates antifreeze.
The Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) shares few similarities with wolves, apart from its sharp teeth and powerful jaw that aid in tearing apart prey. Its teeth are remarkably prominent, to the extent that some protrude from its mouth, creating an appearance that is simultaneously eerie and amusing – at least according to human standards.
However, these enormous teeth serve a purpose. The fish employs them to delve into the sediment on the ocean floor in search of food and to crack the hard shells of crabs, sea urchins, clams, and more. Apart from its teeth, the Atlantic wolffish can be identified by its elongated, snake-like body.
Occurring on both the west and east coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, this fish is a benthic dweller, residing on the firm ocean floor at depths of approximately 2000 feet, frequently observed in crevices and small caves. And it possesses a special ability! Its system generates antifreeze to maintain the fluidity of its blood. This adaptation is crucial because it inhabits water temperatures ranging from -1 to 11 °C.
While most fish species engage in “broadcast spawning” (where females release thousands of eggs into the water and males compete to externally fertilize them), wolffish form pairs and internally fertilize the female’s eggs, resembling the mating behavior of mammals! And the relationship doesn’t end there.
Depending on the water temperature, the female incubates the eggs for a duration of four to nine months and subsequently deposits them in large clusters. Afterward, the male actively safeguards the eggs for approximately four months until they hatch.
Despite their unsettling appearance, these fish exhibit great affection towards humans! Consequently, some divers actively seek them out and frequently establish bonds with their local wolffish. Well, take a look at this.