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Eelpouts and Relatives: Zoarcoidei

Behavior And Reproduction, Wolf-eel (anarrhichthys Ocellatus): Species Accounts, Ocean Pout (zoarces Americanus): Species AccountsPHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, THEIR RELATIVES EELPOUTS A

WOLF-EEL (Anarrhichthys ocellatus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
_OCEAN POUT (Zoarces americanus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Most eelpouts and their relatives are shaped like eels. They usually are less than 16 inches (40 centimeters) long, but some reach a length of 24 inches (60 centimeters). The wolf-eel is the largest fish in this group, reaching a length of 80 inches (2 meters). Eelpouts are usually gray, brown, black, or purple and have spots of various colors.

Eelpouts and their relatives live all over the world from the Arctic to Antarctica.

Some eelpouts and their relatives live above the high tide line in rock pools, burrowing in sand or gravel beaches. Some live in rocky reefs in seaweed and keep well hidden by day. Other species live as far as 2 miles (4,000 meters) deep in the ocean.

Most eelpouts and their relatives hunt for worms, clams, sea urchins, smaller fishes, sea snails, crabs, hermit crabs, starfish, jellyfishes, and plankton, which is microscopic plants and animals drifting in water. Some eat only algae (AL-jee), which are plantlike growths that live in water and have no true roots, stems, or leaves.

Except for wolf-eels, eelpouts and their relatives are not fished for food or fun.

Eelpouts and their relatives are not threatened or endangered.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded Vertebrates