These are bottom-dwelling fishes found on the continental slopes of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, at depths to at least 2,460 m (8,070 ft). Of the two genera in the family, Chaunacops typically occurs at deeper depths than Chaunax, but with considerable overlap.
They have large, globose bodies and short, compressed tails, and are covered with small, spiny scales. The largest are about 30 cm (12 in) in length. The first dorsal fin ray is modified into a short bioluminescent lure which dangles forward over the mouth, which is turned upwards so as to be nearly vertical. The sensory canals of the lateral lines are especially conspicuous.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Chaunacidae" in FishBase. February 2006 version.
- Bertelsen, E. & Pietsch, T.W. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 140. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
- John H. Caruso (2005). "Chaunacidae". Tree of Life web project. Retrieved 3 April 2006.
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