Saturday, November 5, 2011

Week of the Abyss: Umbrella Mouth Gulper Eel.

Raise your hand if, after the "They Actually Eat That" entry on eel pie, you went to a sushi store and got some non-jellied eels. No? Nobody? Then we agree that regular eels are already somewhat creepy. In the abyss, however, nature takes everything up to eleven...

...including eels. Technically, the Umbrella-mouth gulper eel/pelican eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoides) is not even a real eel, but what else would you call it? This eel-like fish is native to all tropical and subtropical areas of the sea. Like all things this week, it can only be found at depths where the sun doesn't shine. Even for eels, it is creepy in its simplicity: No scales, limited fins, and very low swimming capability.

The most noticable trait about this eel is, of course, its jaw. The pelican eel's lower jaw can theoretically stretch large enough to swallow food that is bigger than the whole fish. Despite this awesome jaw, however, the eel's diet consists of tiny prey such as small crustaceans and plankton. Unlike anglerfish, it has tiny teeth. What a relief!

Like many things in the deep, the pelican eel glows in the dark. At the end of the eel's whiplike tail is a lure made of glowing, red tentacles. It's just enough to distract little things from that giant mouth waiting to swallow them up from behind...

Is that a hungry eel, or is it just happy to see us?

The pelican eel has received enough publicity to get its own Pokemon in Huntail. Like the pipefish-chimaera Gorebyss, Huntail evolves from Clamperl and is based off of deep sea life. The sprite even glows in the dark in some games. Know this beast well; as of Gen V, it will become more and more competitive with the addition of Shell Smash, and if they do rerelease Gen III games for the 3DS, wellll....pray to whatever god you believe in that they don't.

Huntail is the thing that ISN'T an anglerfish.

No comments:

Post a Comment