Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

October 28, 2011

FIshy Friday - Tripod fish!

I'm often asked what my favorite types of fishes to illustrate are. Honestly? The weirder, the better. I love the freaky oddballs - the critters who've evolved to resemble their environment, or resemble nothing else on Earth! This includes Deepsea fishes. Sadly though, I hardly ever get to illustrate Deepsea fishes.

Todays fish? The Tripod fish! This guy is wicked cool.

They perch motionless on soft bottoms in lightless depths of about 3,000 to 15,000 feet. While facing into the current, they splay their pectoral fins in a fan-like position. As prey such as shrimps or other inverts pass by, the Tripod fish detects their presence and uses their pectorals to net the prey. Oddly, they have underdeveloped eyes - most dark-dwelling fishes have large eyes. They are hermaphroditic (possess both male and female sex organs) that develop simultaneously - a cool adaptation that allows the fish to reproduce without a mate! (Kind of hard to find one in the dark... :)

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