First Film of Rare Angler Fish

With its gaping mouth, needle-sharp teeth, and slightly startled expression, the black sea devil anglerfish seems tailor-made for the spotlight.

And in fact, one particular female got her close-up on November 17 when researchers got footage of this rare anglerfish—the first time this species has been filmed alive and in its natural habitat—off of central California. (See also rare footage of the deep-sea oarfish.)

A team using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the Monterey Bay Canyon spied this 3.5-inch-long (9 centimeter) black sea devil about 1,900 feet (580 meters) deep. The scientists were then able to bring her up to the surface alive—no mean feat—and have been monitoring the fish ever since.

Bruce Robison, a deep-sea ecologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, has brought up sea devils from the deep before, but never with an ROV. "It came up in absolutely perfect condition," he says.