Friday, October 14, 2011

Stargazer Fish

As per WikiPedia,
The stargazers are a family Uranoscopidae of perciform fish that have eyes on top of their heads (hence the name). The family includes about 50 species in 8 genera, all marine and found worldwide in shallow waters.
Stargazers are venomous; they have two large poison spines situated behind the opercle and above the pectoral fins. Some species can also cause electric shocks. They have an electric organ consisting of modified eye muscles. They are one of the few marine bony fishes that are electrogenic. They are also unique among electric fish in not possessing specialized electroreceptors

The stargazer fish eat a variety of other fishes and invertebrates like crabs present in the marine water for its survival. They hide themselves under the sand and keep a watch on their prey. Their body color also helps them to camouflage with their surroundings. As soon as they find a prey nearby, they jump upwards to catch hold of it. Another technique is where they use the appendage attached to its lower lip. As it appears like a worm, they quiver it to attract the prey. Then the prey, assuming it as a worm, moves towards it. As it comes near the mouth, the fish create a vacuum inside the mouth and suck in the prey fish. Thus, the prey enters into the open mouth of the stargazer.

The breeding season for the stargazer fish is spring and summer. They lay their small transparent eggs on the bottom of the sea. Later, the eggs float to the surface of the water and hatch into larvae of stargazer fish. They remain on top of the water, until it reaches the size of 12 - 15 millimeters in length. At this stage, they can swim to the bottom of the water, where they grow up into matured adult stargazer fish.

How I wish I could see one of these for real before I die!

Ugly Animals - The Stargazer Fish

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