Mystery of the hairy anglerfish's huge stomach

The enormous expanded stomach of a rare hairy anglerfish has intrigued researchers ever since it was caught near the Cape Verde islands in 1999.

Little is known about this bizarre deep-sea fish, including what it eats. But the Museum specimen is so rare - one of only 17 discovered so far - that scientists didn’t want to cut it open to reveal its last meal.

Discover how Museum imaging experts finally solved the mystery by using CT scanning to create a 3D model of the anglerfish’s insides. The details are so clear that fish curator James Maclaine was even able to identify the unfortunate fish that formed the anglerfish’s final meal.


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Find out more about why we need to protect the oceans, find themed events, and read about the pioneering work of the Museum's marine scientists.