Home Life Trends Antarctic Toothfish - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

Antarctic Toothfish - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

Antarctic Toothfish facts and info. Know Antarctic Toothfish weight loss plan, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and so on See attention-grabbing facts of Antarctic Toothfish in our animal facts archive.

Scientific title: Dissostichus mawsoni
Scientific classification:
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Percifomes
Family: Nototheniidae

What does it seem like? A totally grown Antarctic toothfi sh could also be as a lot as 140 kg in weight and 2 m lengthy, though the typical dimension is significantly much less. They have an extended, cigar-formed physique with a broad head bearing large rubbery lips and giant eyes. Long fi ns run alongside the again and the underside, and behind the gills are the big fanlike pectoral fins. Their pores and skin has fairly a somber shade and ranges from gray to black or olive brown. The underside is usually paler.

Where does it stay? This fish lives within the deep, chilly waters round Antarctica. It is commonly caught within the Ross Sea and has been hooked at depths of greater than 2,000 m.


The frigid waters of the Southern Ocean are house to a stunning range of animals. The water is wealthy in vitamins, supporting enormous densities of plankton. This plankton is munched by greater planktonic organisms, that are in flip caught and eaten by small fish. Bigger fish eat these small fish, and so the food chain goes till you get to the highest predators. In these chilly waters, absolutely grown toothfish, cruising by means of the chilly waters, sculling their pectoral fins, are amongst the highest predators.

They cruise by means of the chilly, darkish waters on the look out for appropriate prey. To allow them to stay in these waters, the toothfish have some exceptional diversifications. The waters within the Southern Ocean are on the cusp of freezing, and any animal that swims by means of them should be suitably protected in opposition to the chilly. Freezing is deadly to most animals because the tiny ice crystals that type of their tissues will rupture cells, killing the animals. Put a lettuce or a strawberry within the freezer for some time to get an concept of how damaging ice crystals will be to cells.

The blood of the toothfish accommodates some substances to counteract the deadly results of ice crystal formation. As the temperature drops towards -2 °C (the temperature at which seawater freezes), water molecules will start latching collectively firmly, forming tiny ice crystals that coalesce into the ice we're so aware of. Circulating within the blood of the Antarctic ice are plenty of giant molecules referred to as antifreeze proteins.

These proteins are very strongly attracted to the floor of an ice crystal, and once they bump right into a tiny sliver of ice, they stick quick to its floor. With this molecule on its floor, the ice crystal can’t develop any additional. Without these tiny antifreeze molecules, the blood and the tissues of the Antarctic toothfish would shortly freeze, and the animal would die if it ingested some ice or if an ice crystal penetrated a wound.

Not solely is the toothfish geared up with antifreeze, however it additionally has different diversifications to allow it to thrive within the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean. As a direct results of the chilly circumstances, the fish has a really gradual metabolic fee. Its coronary heart beats about as soon as each six seconds, which is astonishingly gradual for such a big animal. With its blood coursing with antifreeze and its metabolism barely ticking over, the toothfish is hardly a hyperactive fish.

To snaffle prey, it will probably use a brief however highly effective burst of pace, however usually it skulks in open water, largely close to the underside with out expending an excessive amount of power. Its skeleton consists largely of cartilage, making it light-weight, and round its physique are numerous pockets of fatty tissue.

Both of these diversifications contribute to the fish’s capacity to stay neutrally buoyant in deep water with out expending muscular effort. Although there's little or no gentle on the depths at which this fish lives, its eyes are very delicate to even the faintest scattering of sunshine from above, enabling it pick the ghostly shadows of different fish within the gloomy depths. The Antarctic toothfish is a superb instance of how animal life can thrive in even probably the most inhospitable of circumstances.

Key Facts

  • The Antarctic toothfish belongs to a household of fishes often known as the cod icefishes. Although they will resemble cod, they're a totally completely different sort of fish. Worldwide there are round 50 species of cod icefish. They are largely discovered within the Southern Ocean and across the coast of Antarctica.
  • The bigger species of cod icefish, such because the toothfishes, are among the many dominant predators within the chilly waters of the far south. They are thought to fulfill the identical ecological position as sharks do in additional balmy waters.
  • The antifreeze proteins within the blood and tissues of these fi sh are essential of their capacity to tolerate chilly circumstances, however it is usually thought the spleen performs an important position. It has been urged that the spleen removes the tiny, thwarted ice crystals from the circulating blood.
  • As they've a really gradual tempo of life, the toothfish can attain a substantial age. Large specimens could also be a minimum of 50 years previous and are most likely far older.
  • In latest years, shares of different forms of fi sh have dwindled, forcing business fishing boats to forged their nets farther afield. The fishing fleets have turned their consideration to the waters across the Antarctic, the house of the toothfish. The Antarctic toothfish, and to a larger extent the Patagonian toothfish, are finding themselves the targets of intensive fishing efforts. The flesh of these fish is nice to eat, comparable to the northern true cod, and giant numbers of them are being hauled from the depths yearly. A single excessive-high quality specimen, ok for sushi, will be bought for as a lot $1,000. One of the most important fisheries operates from South Georgia, and it's allowed a catch of three,000 tonnes per 12 months. There is scant info on the populations of these exceptional fish, however it's identified that they take a very long time to mature and can attain grand previous ages. Any fi sh with these traits will likely be very weak to the results of overfishing, and populations could take a long time or longer to get better from overexploitation.