Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By ScienceBlogs (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Meet the amazing and ‘ew’-inspiring Pacific hagfish [Life Lines]

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Image via NOAA/Flickr

Pacific hagfish (Eptatretus stoutii), aka “slime eels”, are primitive fish that occupy burrows on the ocean floor. Like earthworms, they have 5 hearts. They have no true eyes, no jaws, nor do they have a stomach. They locate their meals through great senses of smell and touch. In addition to small invertebrates, they are known for consuming carrion that fall to the ocean floor. By consume, I mean burrow into the decomposing carcasses and eating them from the inside out. Ew. Given their dietary habits, it is no surprise they are regularly exposed to little to no oxygen and high ammonia levels as they burrow into carcasses. While some fish suffer from brain swelling, coma and even death with exposure to high ammonia levels, hagfish are remarkably tolerant of ammonia. A recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, discovered what makes hagfish so tolerant. As it turns out, hagfish can get rid of excess ammonia by excreting it through special transporters in their gills and skin.

That’s not all that comes from their skin. Like Slimer, from the Ghostbusters, hagfish have glands on their bodies that produce slime to help them escape predators. It is thought that the slime can gum up their attacker’s gills. Hagfish slime contains thousands of very skinny, and very strong, long protein threads. Some researchers are exploring how these threads may be woven to produce strong fabrics or even artificial tissues.

Just fascinating.



AM Clifford, AM Weinrauch, SL Edwards, MP Wilkie, GG Goss. Flexible ammonia handling strategies using both cutaneous and branchial epithelia in the highly ammonia tolerant Pacific hagfish. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. Published 17 May 2017  DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00351.2016


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.