|Polar sculpin, Cottunculus microps|
T. N. Gill, 1861
The fish family Psychrolutidae contains the fatheads or fathead sculpins, including the blobfishes. There are currently about 40 recognized species in 9 genera. This poorly known family consists of bottom-dwelling marine sculpins shaped like tadpoles, with large heads and bodies that taper back into small, flat tails. They generally have large, leaflike pectoral fins and lack scales, although some species are covered with soft spines. They are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The adults live on the seafloor, between 100 metres (330 ft) and 2,800 metres (9,200 ft) depth. Their name is derived from the Greek psychrolouteo, meaning "to have a cold bath"
Although little research has been done yet on members of this family, they are considered quite interesting by ichthyologists. The blob sculpin, Psychrolutes phrictus, for example, exhibits complex nesting behaviors complete with egg guarding.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). "Psychrolutidae" in FishBase. December 2012 version.
- Eschmeyer, W. N. (ed). "Catalog of Fishes". California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- Eschmeyer, William M. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 179. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
- "Family Psychrolutidae - Fatheads". FishBase. 26 Aug 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2012.