Behaviour and Life Cycle of the Tripod Fish

Tripod Fish is a rare unusual fish that normally exists in the deepest part of the ocean ranging between 2,950 and 15,400 feet in depth. Tripod fish, also known as the 'Stilt Walker' lives in the deepest, darkest and coldest parts of the ocean and spends most of its life hunting or looking for food. Its fins are elongated into three projections which makes it buoyant above the sea floor like a tripod, hence the name Tripod Fish.

Tripod fish, as small as it is, has modified and elongated caudal and pelvic fin tips, commonly referred to as the elements or the rays. The elements normally stick out of both the pelvic and tail fins and are always rigid when it perches on the substrate. However, the rays becomes flexible when it swims. The pectoral fin, also referred to as the tactile organs protrudes outwards and upwards to detect any approaching prey like the antennae. Its eyes have been reduced to almost none because of its behaviour to dwell in the darkest part of the ocean which doesn't have sufficient light. Its body is covered with bronze scales which are sometimes pale with a grayish belly, head and lower back.

Tripod fish is one of the smallest fish that inhabits the ocean. Its body length is about 30 to 37 centimeters. Its modified and elongated fins always grow to a maximum length of one meter which is approximately three times the length of its body. This fish exhibits different behaviours such as feeding on zoo plankton crustaceans, small planktonic and any other small organism drifting by in the current. Since it spends most of its life perched on the fins on the floor of the ocean, this behaviour makes it to dully depend on pectoral fins which alerts it whenever it detects any food. It's the pectoral fins which then captures the food and directs it towards its large gaping mouth. In order to increase the chances of obtaining more food, it adapts behaviour such as staying in the direction of the water current, staying calm and waiting for any approaching food.

Bathypterois grallator as its other name, is a fish that has both male and female organs (Hermaphrodite). Since it stays in a harsh environment, it may or may not find a mate. If it doesn't find any mate, the fish lays eggs and fertilize it with its own sperm. If it finds a mate, then one of them will lay the eggs and the other one fertilize it with sperm. It's life cycle is not known. This is because its habitat is hard to explore which calls for modern equipment to carry out explorations. However scientists and experts have determined some facts about its life cycle. The fish being able to fertilize itself mostly may not need a mate which states that there may not be other species of the fish around because their genes are the same. Its life cycle also states that they can live for up to a couple of years before dying.

Currently, the fish has no commercial benefits and therefore its existence do not seem to be endangered or threatened. Bathypterois grallator is a latin name. Bathy is a latin name which generally means deep, pterois on the other hand is used to mean feathery due to its long and feathery fins and grallator which stands for the one who walk on stilt.