Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Fish and Other Cold-Blooded Vertebrates » Swallowers and Gulpers: Saccopharyngiformes - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Gulper Eel (saccopharynx Ampullaceus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION, GULPERS SWALLOWERS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Swallowers and Gulpers: Saccopharyngiformes - Physical Characteristics

fishes body fins thin

Swallowers and gulpers are among the most unusual fishes. They have no scales, or the thin, hard plates that cover the skin of many fishes. They also have no pelvic fins, the rear pair, corresponding to the rear legs of four-footed animals, and they have very long dorsal (DOOR-suhl) and anal (AY-nuhl) fins, the single fins that run along the top and the bottom of the body. Swallowers and gulpers are flabby to the touch and probably are poor swimmers. The mouth is quite large to enormous, and the throat and stomach can stretch to allow for the capture of large prey, or animals hunted and caught for food.

Except for a huge head and mouth, the bodies of these fishes are very long and thin. The body color varies from patchy light brown to solid black. Some of these fishes have thin white lines of unknown function that extend from the head to the tail, along the upper body. Some swallowers and gulpers have glowing bulbs at the very tip of a stringy tail, which can be half or more of the overall length of the fish. The rest of the body is no longer than 20 inches (50 centimeters).

Swallowers and Gulpers: Saccopharyngiformes - Diet [next]

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