Whalefishes lack external scales and the pelvic fins are absent in females, usually absent in males and jugular in position in juveniles.
|A family of deep-sea fishes with about 9 genera and more than 45 species, many of which are undescribed.|
|Larvae: Epipelagic. Some species have small mouths, hair-like growths on the body, very large pelvic and caudal fins. Others have an amazingly long caudal streamer that may resemble siphonophores or even look like a sea snake. Females: Mesopelagic fishes with huge mouths, tiny eyes, and a huge lateral line canal. The dorsal and anal fins are far back on the body, the pectoral fins are small, and they lack fin spines, pelvic fins, ribs and visible scales. Males: Nasal organs very well-developed, teeth, oesophagus and stomach absent.|
|Larval whalefishes feed on tiny crustaceans (copepods).|
|Dianne J. Bray|
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