A Living Cartoon Creature Found Walking on Sea Floor!
Watch it walk the ocean floor on its flimsy legs (pelvic fins), looking like a fluffy rabbit; sharks swim around, but won't touch it (too frigging cute?). So what, in the name of the global warming, is this thing?
There are plenty of frogfish varieties, and Teresa Zuberbühler has quite a collection that covers most of them. With her exclusive permission, here are the most fascinating ones (see the whole collection - 35 species! - here - from the miniscule in size to truly giant and bizarre)
This Giant frogfish - Antennarius commerson - resembles a weedy rock and blends very well with the coral sponge (if not for the eyes and mouth):
They easily change color, including some very bright hues (different species of frog and angler-fish are difficult to identify, in general) -
Some present an ugly inscrutable face, and some are... freckled - Antennarius coccineus (freckled frogfish):
Some of the are "fuzzy" (right), some of them are "hairy" (left) - Antennarius hispidus / Antennarius striatus -
Clown (warty) frog fishes - Antennarius maculatus - present the most peculiar faces to the world - full of gaudy ugliness and healthy disdain:
Pokemon-style Japanese cutie discovered! It frolics around and "walks" the floor just like any good-natured puppy:
It also comes in a hairy (more huggable?) version:
"Walking" is common with deep-sea fish. They need to preserve energy, and most of the food and nutrients are found on the ocean floor, so some monkfish, for example, don't even have a swim bladder - so they walk on their pelvic fins.
Want more weirdness? Try deep sea angler fish - perhaps the ugliest creature on the planet, with pretty disturbing mating habits. It's hard to go looking for a partner at these great depths... so why not carry him on your back (and actually fuse with him?)
"The male, in lieu of continually seeking the vast abyss for a female, has evolved into a permanent parasitic mate. When a young, free-swimming male angler encounters a female, he latches onto her with his sharp teeth. Over time, the male physically fuses with the female, connecting to her skin and bloodstream and losing his eyes and all his internal organs except the testes. A female will carry six or more males on her body." (source)
The male rides along and produces sperm, the female hunts for food - and does all the "walking". They literally become "one flesh". Oh my.
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