Cusk Eel Facts!

Cusk Eel Facts!

Cusk Eel_Spectrunculus_grandis
Giant cusk eel (Spectrunculus grandis) on the Davidson Seamount at 3288 meters. Photo: NOAA/MBARI PD image

The cusk eel family consists of over two hundred species of bony, marine fish found in tropical and temperate oceans all around the world. They live close to the bottom of the sea, ranging from the shallows to depths of over 6562 feet (2000 meters). The largest known species of this family grows up to about 6.6 feet (2 meters) long, but most species are smaller than 3.3 feet (1 meter).

Ventral fin_Barb_gonio_080526_9681_ltn_Pv
Ventral fin or pelvic fin. From Cisadane River, Situgede, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. Image credit: W.A. Djatmiko (Wie146) GFDL v1.2

Cusk eels are not related to true eels, and can be distinguished from them by their ventral fins. Ventral fins are a pair of fins in a fish’s pelvic girdle that help in controlling movement. True eels don’t possess these fins, whereas in cusk eels they have developed into forked, barbel-like organs below the mouth. As with true eels, however, the dorsal, anal and tail fins of cusk eels are formed into a single long fin.

Cusk Eels are featured in the following book:
25 Deep Sea Creatures

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about Cusk Eels. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. A deep-sea cusk eel and large skate at 2000m depth by Scoop
  2. Spotted Cusk Eel Hurriedly Buries Itself in the Sand by Mike Bear
  3. Cusk eel burrowing behavior.mpg by Rodney Rountree


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