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Pacific Hagfish

Eptatretus stoutii

Range: Pacific hagfish are found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, along the coast of North America from southern Alaska to Baja, California.

Habitat: Hagfish live on the floor of the continental shelf, at depths ranging from 52 to 3,000 feet below the surface. They live on mud or rocky substrates.

Size: They average about 15 inches long, but can reach lengths up to 25 inches.

Diet: Hagfish eat worms or carrion. They can go for long periods of time without eating.

Conservation Connection:It’s believed that their populations are decreasing due to the Asian eel skin leather market. There has been considerable trap fishing for hagfish, which is leading to a smaller population.

Did you know? Hagfish are notorious for their defensive slime. They expel a sugar and protein matrix that mixes with the saltwater and makes a slippery slime, a great defense mechanism to avoid predators.

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