Fun Coffinfish Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
May 03, 2023 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Discover surprising Coffinfish facts about its colorful appearance, and habitat.

The Coffinfish, Chaunax endeavouri, is a kind of anglerfish whose population inhabits only a particular area of the earth. It prefers to reside in the temperate waters of the Pacific's southwestern region.

The habitat of this species is very large and is found off Australia's east coast. These deep-sea creatures are unique when it comes to their appearance, habitat, diet, and defense mechanisms.

Everything about them is so different from other sea animals. They are perhaps one of the strangest fish thanks to their ability to walk with their fins on the ocean floor.

Interestingly, the Coffinfish developed gradually as a benthic ocean fish. Benthic fish are creatures that occur in the depths of the ocean. These exotic deep-sea creatures have a brightly colored appearance.

They are quite colorful possessing orange, red, and pink bodies with yellow and olive-green spots. Their mouth is quite large and contains many small, but quite sharp teeth.

These 8.7 in (22 cm) in length sea animals are not very large but they can inflate themselves with the help of their unique gill chambers. Keep reading and get to know much more about the unique world of the Coffinfish.

If you found these facts captivating, you must also check out our Spanish mackerel facts and Indian Mackerel facts.

Coffinfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Coffinfish?

The Coffinfish is a member of the family Chaunacidae, commonly referred to as the sea toad family. Their family comprises two genera namely the sea toads and the coffinfish. The Coffinfish, Chaunax endeavouri, is a kind of anglerfish that inhabits deep waters. The Coffinfish's body resembles a pink balloon.

The body lacks firmness and is somewhat globe-shaped. Like sea toads, their body also possesses large gill chambers that are inflatable. These gill chambers allow them to hold water which increases their body weight.

What class of animal does a Coffinfish belong to?

The Coffinfish belongs to the class Actinopterygii. They are informally referred to as sea toads as they have the same characteristic: inflatable gill chambers.

How many Coffinfish are there in the world?

The population of these deep-sea creatures has not been evaluated yet. However, they are endemic in the Pacific Ocean's southwestern region.

Where does a Coffinfish live?

This marine animal is spotted in the southwestern Pacific's salty temperate waters, off Australia's east coast. They can be seen at depths of 164-8202 ft (50-2500 m) in the ocean.  This interesting fish species is indigenous to the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

What is a coffin fish's habitat?

This deep-sea fish spends the majority of its time simply resting on the floor of the ocean and this fish species has an uncommon ability regarding holding their breath. These unique fish can hold onto their breath for four whole minutes.

It is believed that they hold their breath to conserve their energy. This breath-holding practice preserves their strength. Some other animals can hold their breath underwater like the catfish, elephant seal, sperm whale, and the Weddell seal.

Who do Coffinfish live with?

The coffinfish species is quite solitary and these fish like to be on their own in the ocean. They are the only species in the Chaunacidae family that can walk.

How long does a Coffinfish live?

This unique fish has a lifespan that lasts for approximately 25 years.

How do they reproduce?

These fish lay a large number of eggs (the exact number of eggs that they lay is unknown) in rafts that are ribbon-like and buoyant. These rafts are helpful in the transmission of many small eggs across great distances to areas for better development.

The larvae of this fish are round and translucent and swim towards the surface of the ocean after hatching to feed upon plankton. They go back to the deep depths of the ocean after they have matured. After maturing, they can hold their breath.

What is their conservation status?

These creatures aren't threatened or endangered as they have an endemic population.  They are Not Listed in the IUCn's Red List. They were classified as 'High Risk' by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, but that didn't last very long thanks to their wide range in Australia. These fish often become bycatch for trawlers.

Coffinfish Fun Facts

What do Coffinfish look like?

The boldest characteristic of the Coffinfish is its body which is dorsoventrally compressed and has loose skin covered with spine-like small scales. They have a round body that is orange, red, and pink colored.

There might also be yellow or olive-green colored spots on the body. They have webs of skin as fins and they are supported by spines that are bony or horny.

They use two fins to walk on the ocean floor. They have an oversized mouth that contains pointy small teeth and they have a short lure behind their snout.

* Please note that this image is of an orange fish, not a Coffinfish specifically. If you have an image of a coffinfish please let us know at

How cute are they?

These deep-sea animals are hardly cute. They are ambush predators who have peculiar facial expressions that are quite sad-looking because of the shape of their mouths. However, when they inflate themselves they look like a cute balloon.

How do they communicate?

Not much is known about how these species communicate with each other. They live solitarily in the ocean. We do know that they use their lures to attract prey. Like anglerfish, they might communicate with each other via visual cues.

How big is a Coffinfish?

The Coffinfish has a length that can reach up to 8.7 in (22 cm). They are approximately the same length as the Rockmover wrasse.

How fast can a Coffinfish swim?

The speed of this unique fish is not yet known. However, we do know that it inhabits the ocean at a depth of 164-8202 ft (50-2500 m) and even can walk on the ocean's floor with the help of two of its fins.

How much does a Coffinfish weigh?

The weight of the Coffinfish has not been evaluated yet. However, anglerfish species of the same family weigh 26.45 lb (11 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of the Coffinfish species do not have specific names as per their gender.

What would you call a baby Coffinfish?

A baby Coffinfish can be called a fry or larvae after the eggs hatch and go through their initial stage of life before maturing.

What do they eat?

Coffinfish have a large mouth and their food ranges from octopus to worms to fish. This fish is an ambush predator that utilizes its lure to attract prey which it eats instantly as soon as it reaches nearby.

These deep-sea animals prey upon the mantis shrimp, small squids, fish, turtles, as well as sea birds. These fish also have predators, namely cow sharks, from whom they defend themselves by inflating themselves with the help of their gill chambers.

They hold their breath when they are inflated. This makes it hard for the predator to eat them as they become so big, it's harder for the predator to eat them.

Are they dangerous?

These fish are ambush predators that will prey upon anything they can. However, there has been no recorded instance where a Coffinfish harmed a human.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these fish reside many feet deep in the ocean where light is scarce. They are not suitable to be kept as pets and cannot be kept in an aquarium because of their unique habitat preferences. 

Did you know...

This peculiar creature was discovered by the captain of the Libra, a trawler harbored in Mazara, for the first time in February 1997 in Italy.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover. Learn more about some other fishes from our longhorn cowfish interesting facts or drum fish facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring one in on our free printable Coffinfish coloring pages.

* Please note that the main image is of a sea toad, not a Coffinfish specifically. If you have an image of a coffinfish please let us know at

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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