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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 0:14 EDT

Antarctic Silverfish, Pleuragramma antarcticum

The Antarctic Silverfish, (Pleuragramma antarcticum), is a member of the Notothenioidei family of fish. It is widely distributed around the Antarctic, but has largely disappeared from the western side of the northern Antarctic Peninsula based on 2010 research funded by the National Science Foundation. It is also found throughout the Southern Ocean.

It grows to an average size of 6 inches, but has been known to reach lengths of up to 10 inches. It is usually pink with a silver tint, and only turns all silver after death. This is one of many Antarctic marine fish that produces antifreeze glycopeptides as an adaptation against the extreme cold of its environment.

This fish will feed on the eggs of calanoids, sea snails and tintinnids. Juveniles feed mainly on copepods. Antarctic Silverfish are an important prey species for animals higher on the food chain like the Adelie penguin and the Weddell Seal.

Image Credit: Louis Dollo/Wikipedia

Antarctic Silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum