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Fathead Sculpins
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Scientific Name Psychrolutidae
Conservation Status Data Defficient
Family Chordata
Habitat Temperate Sea Floors
Food Small fish, mollusks, crustaceans


The fish family Psychrolutidae contains the fatheads or fathead sculpins, including the blobfishes. There are 9 genera and about 30 species. This poorly known family consists of bottom-dwelling marine sculpins shaped like tadpoles, with large heads and bodies that taper back into small, flat tails. They generally have large, leaflike pectoral fins and some species are covered with soft spines. They are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The adults live on the seafloor, between 100 metres (330 ft) and 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) depth.

Although little research has been done yet on members of this family, they are considered quite interesting by ichthyologists. The blob sculpin, Psychrolutes phrictus, for example, exhibits complex nesting behaviors complete with egg guarding.

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