You are not likely to ever see a tripod fish, much less reel one in. These little-known denizens of the deep have a strange characteristic that sets them apart from most other fish. Tripod fish perch on the ocean floor on three elongated fin rays and wait until prey come near. These specialized fins are flexible, yet also stiff enough to support the fish in the abyssal zone up to 4,700 feet below the ocean’s surface. Unlike most other animals, finding a partner to mate with is only optional with the tripod fish. Since the animal carries both male and female reproductive organs, it is entirely capable of producing offspring by itself. To keep a varied genetic pool, tripod fish that pass by one another will also mate.
Like many deep-sea creatures, only recently have tripod fish been seen moving in their natural environment.