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Hagfishes: Myxini

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Hagfishes And People, Atlantic Hagfish (myxine Glutinosa): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS


Hagfishes live in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic Oceans and in the Bering, Mediterranean, and Caribbean Seas.

Most hagfishes live at the bottom of the ocean. Atlantic hagfishes live on soft, muddy bottoms, where they form burrows. Pacific hagfishes live on surfaces ranging from soft, muddy bottoms to boulders and sand, where they coil up and nestle among rocks.

Hagfishes eat dead and dying fish, small worms, and crustaceans (krus-TAY-shuns), which are animals that live in water and have a soft, segmented body covered by a hard shell, such as hermit crabs and shrimps. Using its biting plate, a hagfish pierces the food animal and bores into it, eating the soft insides and leaving only the bones and skin or shell.

Hagfishes are not threatened with extinction.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded Vertebrates