Members of the deep-sea and oceanic fish family Oreosomatidae, to which Oreosoma
atlanticum belongs, are deep bodied, with large eyes and a protrusible mouth. Oreos
are often found in deep waters below 500 meters over the continental slope in
most temperate (and some tropical and subtropical) waters, perhaps especially in
the Southern Hemisphere. Many Oreo species are of significant commercial value,
(athough O. atlanticum is not due to its small size) , particularly in the southern
hemisphere (around Australia and New Zealand) where deep-sea trawling is
common (Eschmeyer et al. 1983; Lowry et al. 1994).
The Ox-eyed Oreo (Oreosoma atlanticum) is found in the southeastern Atlantic and
western Indian Oceans, occurring around South Africa between 30° and 35°S, and
in the southwestern Pacific off Australia (including western and southern Australia)
and New Zealand These fish have a height approximately equal to their length (~21
cm) and have 25 or 26 large, conical, bony proturbances on the body (Goode and
Bean 1895). Ox-eyed Oreos have small horns above each eye and are grey in color
(Jordan and Evermann 1898).
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