Fangtooth Fish Diet: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Sara Clarke-Vivier

Sara is a recently graduated PhD in Education with interdisciplinary experience in K-12 education.

What kind of food does a fangtooth fish use those big, sharp teeth to eat? In this lesson we will explore the diet of fangtooth fish by looking at where they live and how they hunt and catch their prey.

Creatures of the Deep

Fangtooth fish are deep sea fish that spend most of their time in some of the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean. Because it is difficult to live in these dark and cold conditions, the deep ocean is home to fewer fish than you'll find in shallower and warmer waters. So being a deep water fish means that fangtooths need to be clever about how they find food. Let's explore the eating habits of these toothy creatures.

A Fangtooth Fish
Fangtooth Fish

What Does a Fangtooth Fish Eat?

Fangtooth fish like to eat crustaceans, like crabs, as well as squids and other fish. This diet is tricky for fangtooths because not many of these types of creatures live in the deep ocean. This means that in order to eat, the fangtooth fish must swim towards the surface of the water where there is more light and more food. While this is a good way to find a delicious squid to eat, it is also dangerous for the fangtooth. Other, bigger fish, like marlin and tuna, also hunt at the surface of the water, and fangtooth fish are often on their dinner menus!

Fangtooth Feeding Adaptations

Swimming to the surface where there is more light and more food is one way that fangtooth fish find dinner. These animals also have two other important adaptations to help them hunt for food. These are chemoreception and a large mouth and teeth.

Chemoreception

Animals use many different senses, like seeing and hearing, to hunt for food. Because fangtooth fish live in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean, they are limited in their ability to see potential prey. To help them detect a future dinner, fangtooth fish have a special way of using chemical traces in the water to track down food. This is called chemoreception, but it's only partially helpful to the fangtooth because the deep ocean is not home to too many other fish.

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