Stephanoberyciforms are deepsea fishes, generally inhabiting bathypelagic depths down to about 13,123 ft (4,000 m). A few species, especially juvenile forms, have been captured closer to the surface in waters as shallow as 164 ft (50 m), probably an indication of vertical migrations. The only specimen of the hairyfish was captured near the surface. Stephanoberyciforms, especially whalefishes and melam-phaids, form an important and very large proportion of fishes in the bathypelagic realm.

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