An Overdue Family Reunion
Three's a Crowd - Bignose Fishes
The final group of players in the story is the bignose fishes, or Megalomycteridae, which were first described in 1966 and were named for the nose-like bulge on their snout that contains a pair of enlarged nasal sensory organs. Their body, which grows to 68mm (2.7 inches) long, is covered by large, circular scales arranged in a mosaic pattern. Most of the 65 specimens were found at least 1000 meters (3,280 feet) deep, like the whalefishes. Also like the whalefishes, the bignose fishes lack pelvic fins.
Two characteristics of the bignose fishes were particularly confounding to scientists: their upper jaw bones are fused to each other and to the bones that support the enlarged nasal organs, so that they are essentially immobilized; and – as noted by John Paxton during his analysis of the whalefishes—all bignose specimens are males.
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