What do these fish look like? How do they behave? What do you need to know about hagfish?
What do they look like?
Hagfish are ugly animals. They resemble eels in that they have long, slithery bodies. But unlike eels, hagfish don't really have mouths to speak of. Hagfish fall into the category of "jawless fish." They are normally brownish or greenish in color and can grow up to be as long as three feet. They have unattractive fangs that can catch food and stick it inside tiny holes in the fronts of their bodies that sort of act as mouths. They also have tiny holes in their bodies that line their full lengths.
How do they behave?
The most common question asked about hagfish is how do they eat? Obviously, not having jaws makes eating food somewhat difficult. But the hagfish actually enter the bodies of the creatures they are trying to eat. They find a hole on the gills of a fish or through a ventral wall of the body of an aquatic animal and help themselves to dinner. They'll attach themselves inside a creature parasitically. Their mouths will grab hold of the inside of the animal and they'll suck the blood or flesh right out of the other animal's body.
What else should you know about hagfish?
Hagfish have an uncanny ability to turn their small, slithery bodies into fierce predators. If they're having difficulty tearing off flesh, they'll simply tie themselves into knots to gain a bit of leverage and start pulling the heck out of the prey. The fact that these creatures have no backbones certainly helps in this maneuver.