Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Cockatoo Flounder

Image: FishWise Professional
Samaris cristatus
It's a fish that wants to show off her pearly whites!

Cockatoo Flounders usually look like completely ordinary flounders. Flat, twisty-faced flounders. They rest on soft sediment, mostly in southeast Asia between northern Australia and southern Japan, though they've also been spotted in the Red Sea and southern Africa.

Normally they rely on their silty camouflage to hide from predators but if that fails, it's time to move on to stage two.

Video: liquidguru

Now they open out a fin under their head and show off numerous, long, bright white filaments.

It looks quite spectacular and presumably serves to make this 20 cm (8 in) fish look bigger and more intimidating.

They also happen to look reminiscent of the squidgy tubes sea cucumbers release when they eviscerate themselves. You know, when they crack open their own body and throw a bunch of sticky guts in a predator's face.

Perhaps we should change their name to Sea Cucumber Guts Flounder?


Porakiya Draekojin said...

Is it just me, or did anyone else see those filaments glowing in that video? Also, quite a nifty defense gimmick.

TexWisGirl said...


Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

@Porakiya Draekojin: It really looks like it! I'm guessing it's something to do with camera lighting but it looks like the kind of clean, sparkly whites most washing powders can only dream of!

@TexWisGirl: Yup!

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