Most of what is known about lophiid behavior comes from observations of the monkfish and another species, Lophius piscato-rius; general aspects of this behavior are described earlier, in the ordinal account. Aristotle made the very first observations of angling behavior. He described them as having hairlike filaments hung before their eyes, with knobs attached like bait to the end of each filament. When little fishes come in range of the filaments and strike at them, they are led down with the filaments into the monkfish's mouth. Such observations were not recorded again until 1925, when Bigelow and Welsh reported the observations of W. F. Clapp, who observed monk-fish catching young tomcod (Microgadus tomcod) in the eelgrass beds of Duxbury Bay, Massachusetts.

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