This fish, along with the other members of the family Channichthyidae, is best known for being the only vertebrates that lack hemoglobin and skeletal myoglobin (Moylan and Sidell 2000). Champhocephalus gunarri is additionally one of only 6 species of fish to lack cardiac myoglobin (Grove et. al 2004). These and other adaptations have made it possible for the mackerel icefish to inhabit successfully the sub-freezing temperatures of the bodies of water surrounding Antarctica. C. gunarri move through different depths of the water column diurnally, from 0 – 800 m, with the oldest specimens staying farther from the surface (Frolkina and Trunov 2004). Using primarily labriform locomotion, flapping their pectoral fins back and forth (Johnston 1989), they feed almost exclusively on krill.
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