Friday, 27 September 2013

Billowy veil holding almost 1 million eggs is laid by Goose-fish

The monk-fish  or goose-fish  lays its eggs in the form a veil that can be up to 60 feet long. Goose-fish, also known as monk-fish,  may be among the most aesthetically challenged creatures around. But when the homely bottom-feeders lay their eggs, they create something beautiful, a gauzy, billowy veil that drifts in the ocean for days.

Given above is the goose-fish that creates the incredible egg veil. The veil looks something like a 60-foot-long (18 meters) sheet of delicate bubble wrap, covered in about a million pinhead-sized eggs waiting to be fertilized. "In the wild, when the female is swimming around releasing the egg veil, the male is swimming around her and as they intertwine, the male releases its sperm," aquarist Bill Murphy, of New England Aquarium, said.

The aquarium's female fish doesn't have a male counterpart, so these eggs won't result in any offspring. For now, visitors will be able to see veil float around in the goose-fish's tank until it starts to rot. Murphy said he didn't catch the veil-laying, but in the weeks leading up to the moments-long event, there are usually signs that a sheet of eggs is coming namely, the fish starts looking bloated. "She looks huge, like she swallowed a beach ball," Murphy said.

Monk-fish are angler-fish that sit, partially buried, at the bottom of the ocean, attracting prey with a lure in the form of a flap of skin that looks like a small fish. When its victim is close enough, the monk-fish opens its big mouth suddenly, creating a vacuum to suck in its prey. The fish can grow to be more than 5 feet long (1.5 meters) and are found throughout New England, at depths ranging from 10 feet to 200 feet (3 to 60 m). Monk-fish can also be found on dinner plates, and are sometimes nicknamed "the poor man's lobster" because of their muscular tails. 

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