This is a lobe-finned fish that has fins supported by fat stalks, which are in turn supported by bones. The average weight of this fish is 80 kilograms. It can also reach a length of up to 2 meters. Like it is found many times in the wild, the females are bigger than the males.
Scientist have discovered a method of determining how long this fish can live. It is a system based on the growth rings that can be found in its ear bones. Based on these growth rings, they believe that this fish can live up to 100 years.
Each fish has individual color markings, which makes scientists believe that they can recognize each other through electrical communication.
This fish lives at great depths in the ocean, usually at about 700 meters. However, it has also been found in shallower waters of around 90 meters. It is never out during the day time or on a bright full moon night, because its eyes are very sensitive to light. The eyes are very developed and very light-sensitive to help the fish see in dark waters.
This fish eats cuttlefish, squid, eel, and even small sharks, the basic diet of a fish that lives deep down in the ocean. It is thought that this fish can slow down its metabolism at will and sink down to the depths of the sea and go into a form of hibernation.
It was in 1998 that scientists estimated the population of this fish to be fewer than 500 and predicted its extinction. It was soon put on the critically endangered list and all international trade was made illegal for commercial purposes.
The Convention of International Trade of the Endangered Species treaty regulates that all trades, even the sending of specimens to museums through this system, requires special permits.
This fish does not lay eggs. The female gives birth to live young. She usually gives birth from 5 to 25 babies at a time. These little guys are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves right after birth.