Published: November 2005
Did You Know?
In Did You Know? the National Geographic magazine team shares extra information we gathered to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects.

Frogfish can eat prey larger than themselves, and, in some species, in less than six milliseconds. A frogfish uses lightning-fast suction ability to draw prey into its mouth, which can be expanded to more than 12 times its resting size. Once food is safely in the stomach, water that was sucked up in the vacuum process is expelled through the gills. If a would-be meal gets caught on teeth, frogfish simply perform an abbreviated suction to finish the job. If prey is just too big to swallow, a forceful cough expels it along with any unwanted matter like scales and substrate.

—Emily Krieger