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Sep 23 2013

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: One ugly fish

23 comments

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  1. 1
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    I never thought I’d see the day that I’d see such a speciest comment here. Ugly according to whom? I’m very disappointed in you, PZ.

    And, not parenthetically, I can literally not make heads nor tails of this. Looks like a piece of sponge rubber to me.

  2. 2
    fountainscholar

    Ohhhh, but warty prowfish are adorable (entirely non-sarcastic comment from a die-hard ichthyologist).

  3. 3
    Ichthyic

    entirely non-sarcastic comment from a die-hard ichthyologist

    …and I add a vote up for this fish, and a for Neoclinus blanchardi.

    just to be sarcastic about it, in a literal sense.

  4. 4
    Artor

    It looks like a diseased lung from high school health class videos. Eww!

  5. 5
    Ichthyic

    I can literally not make heads nor tails of this.

    It’s facing upwards; mouth is on upper right.

  6. 6
    chigau (違う)

    Thanks Ichthyic.
    I see it now.

  7. 7
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Thanks, Ichthyic. I assume that the little brown dot towards the top is the eye?

    To me, it looked like there was (vaguely) a face about 1/3 of the way down on the (as I now understand it) the ventral side, and I didn’t think that I could really be seeing that correctly.

  8. 8
    Inaji

    Looks like coral to me, so good camo on that fish.

  9. 9
    Jafafa Hots

    Seems more efficient to me to have fish start out already battered and fried.

  10. 10
    yubal

    ahw, come on, that one is cute !

  11. 11
    otrame

    I have to go with fountain scholar. I think it’s beautiful.

  12. 12
    blf

    According to the Ozlandic Museum, Warty Prowlfish have been observed to shed their batter, I mean skin, like a snake.

  13. 13
    latsot

    It looks as though the fish’s name is Andrew Newton. Happy with that.

  14. 14
    borax

    I had to stare at that fish for about 3 minutes before I could see the fishy structures. It kinda looks like a deep fried fish fillet.

  15. 15
    David Marjanović

    Is it camouflaged as a sponge, as a rock with barnacles on it, or both?

  16. 16
    richardelguru

    And ‘warty prowfish’ is such a great name!!
    Maybe I’ll change mine?.. Deed-poll anyone??

  17. 17
    Ichthyic

    I assume that the little brown dot towards the top is the eye?

    yup

  18. 18
    Lars

    How can this be so hard? It took me probably less than three seconds to figure it out the first time I saw the picture, and now everytime I look at it, I just see a somewhat camouflaged fish. ;>

    I guess it goes to show that seeing is learned behavior too.

  19. 19
    Ichthyic

    Is it camouflaged as a sponge, as a rock with barnacles on it, or both?

    I’ve seen vase sponges in the Caribbean that look similar. Note that it is standing on its tail, to give the impression it is planted in the sand.

    example, though I’ve seen ones that look even closer:

    http://mileskirk.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/AzureVaseSponge_1000.jpg

  20. 20
    Ichthyic

    I guess it goes to show that seeing is learned behavior too.

    a phenomenon in ethology related to the concept of “search image”.

  21. 21
    Blondin

    I think it looks like it could be mistaken for a fillet that’s already been battered & fried.

  22. 22
    w00dview

    Neoclinus blanchardi

    Ah, Sarcastic Fringehead. Now THAT is a common name! Way better than what was bestowed on poor old Pomatomus saltatrix. A shoaling predator which attacks and kills more than it can eat and a set of choppers than can neatly remove any digit and you call it a bluefish?! Were they called that before scientists realised these guys were basically saltwater piranhas?

  23. 23
    dogmeat

    I’ll add a vote for beautiful, really cool example of camouflage. I’ll also add a “how didn’t you see it?” Like a few of the others, I saw right away the structures that show it’s a fish.

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