The Atlantic Wolffish is a species of marine fish and represents the largest member of the Wolffish family. They often attain a length of almost five ft (150 cm). Mature individuals also weigh roughly 40 lb (18 kg).
The most striking physical feature of the animal is the structure of its teeth. In addition to the three rows of teeth in the upper jaw, and the two rows in the lower jaw, each individual also possesses four to six long fang-like, conical teeth.
Further, their powerful jaws and multiple rows of teeth are useful in cracking the shells of their primary prey which includes crustaceans, mollusks, and echinoderms.
Atlantic Wolffish Habitat
The Atlantic Wolffish dwells at depths ranging from 250-400 ft (76-120 m) and are also known for their unique adaptation to their cold water environment. They remain a benthic species, living on the ocean floor. There, they inhabit caves and rocky crevices.
They actually evolved a naturally occurring anti-freeze like substance in their blood. This keeps their blood flowing freely in the extreme cold of their habitat.
The Atlantic Wolffish remains stationary by nature and rarely ventures from the rocky crevices where they make their home.
Atlantic Wolffish Diet and Reproduction
The species does not feed on other fish. They prey upon a variety of mollusks, echinoderms, and crustaceans for which their powerful teeth and jaws have evolved. Prey also includes whelks, hermit crabs, sea urchins, and green crabs.
The Atlantic Wolffish forms an important predator in its environment. Further, their dietary habits also help maintain the ecological balance by keeping the numbers of green crabs and sea urchins in check.
The reproductive habits of this animal differ from most fish. Eggs get fertilized internally, rather than being deposited in the ocean for the male to fertilize. Also, the male remains and protects the nest for as long as four months.