This image shows a cleared and double stained barbeled dragonfish (Grammatostomias dentatus), in which bone is stained red, cartilage blue, and all musculature is mascerated. Barbeled dragonfishes (family Stomiidae) represent one of the dominant fish families in the deep-sea, exhibiting an array of specializations to a predatory existence in this environment, e.g. huge mouth gapes with prominent teeth, distensible stomachs, elongated dark bodies with photophores, and chin barbels with bioluminescent tissue. Some barbeled dragonfishes have from one to ten anterior vertebrae reduced or entirely absent and five genera exhibit a true functional head joint. Both characters allow a considerable degree of cranial elevation that is notably enhanced in the genera that share the functional head joint.
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