Common Name: Patagonian Hagfish

Scientific Name: Myxine affinis

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Agnatha 

Order: Myxiniformes

Family: Myxinidae

Genus: Myxine

Species: M. affinis

Have you ever heard of a myxine affinis? Probably not. They’re a type of eel-like hagfish that live in the ocean, otherwise known as patagonian hagfish. In my animal report, I’ll describe the characteristics, habitat, population, conservation, diet, feeding habits, predators, and importance of patagonian hagfish.

 

These animals aren’t exactly considered cute and cuddly. The average patagonian hagfish is about 60 to 65 centimeters in length. They’re usually grey or brown. This species isn’t covered with any scales, so they can easily navigate inside the bodies of their prey. They have long, slender bodies, small, simple eyespots, gills, sharp teeth, and no fins.

 

Patagonian hagfish are marine animals, and are usually found at or near the bottom of the ocean. There are many of these animals, and the only threat to them is when they’re sometimes caught in fishing nets by mistake. There aren’t any known efforts to conserve this species.

 

Patagonian hagfish are vicious predators despite their small size. Although they sometimes eat small marine worms, they usually feed on injured or dead animals, sometimes much bigger than them. They’re also known to devour their prey from the inside. When threatened, hagfish will produce mass amounts of slime to distract predators. These animals aren’t usually eaten by humans due to their repulsive looks.

 

Patagonian hagfish are very important to oceanic environments. If they didn’t eat the leftovers of dead organisms, the ocean wouldn’t be as clean. One of the most interesting facts about patagonian hagfish is they’re not born with a specific gender, and can be either male or female depending on how they develop. Now you know all about patagonian hagfish!

 

Author: Marti I.

Date Published: February 2013

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagfish. Hagfish, February 13, 2013.

www.fishbase.us/summary/Myxine-affinis.html. Patagonian Hagfish, February 13, 2013.

www.iucnredlist.org/details/full/196049/0. Patagonian Hagfish, February 13, 2013.

 

Picture Source:

www.fishbase.us/summary/Myxine-affinis.html. Patagonian Hagfish, February 16, 2013.