It is estimated that the Viperfish can live anywhere between 30 and 40 years in the wild. A specimen in captivity has a significally shorter lifespan – only several hours. Time of day greatly effects the depth these species stay at. In the daytime, Viperfish prefer to be at lower depths (up to 9,000 ft) to avoid any direct sunlight. During the night, Viperfish have been spotted by scientists in shallow waters.
A Viperfish varies in colour; so far scientists have found green, silver and black coloured fish. A very distinctive feature of this fish is its massive, fang–like teeth that it uses for immobilizing prey. They are so large that they actually go out of the mouth and are always visible.
The first vertebra behind the head of the Viperfish is known to absorb the shock of its attacks, which are mainly targeted against Dragonfish and other small creatures. They are able to undergo long periods with scarce or no food.