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Opahs and Relatives: Lampridiformes

Behavior And Reproduction, Opahs, Their Relatives, And People, Oarfish (regalecus Glesne): Species AccountPHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS


Opahs are almost round when viewed from the side, but their relatives are long and slender. Opahs and their relatives have red fins and brightly colored bodies. The jaw structure allows these fishes suddenly to open their mouths to forty times the closed size and use enormous suction to capture plankton, or microscopic plants and animals drifting in water.

Opahs and their relatives live in all oceans except in polar waters.

Opahs and their relatives are strictly saltwater fishes. Some live near the shore, and some live in the deep ocean, from surface waters to depths of hundreds of feet.

Opahs and their relatives eat crustacean (krus-TAY-shun) plankton, small to medium-sized squid, and small to medium-sized fishes. Crustaceans are water-dwelling animals that have jointed legs and a hard shell but no backbone.

Opahs and their relatives are not threatened or endangered.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded Vertebrates