Sheila (sheila_peitra) wrote in wtf_nature,

Sargassum Fish

I'm watching NatGeo, and I catch an episode about this wtf little guy... the Sargassum Fish.

What made me go *D:* the most was the PREHENSILE FINGERS... very, very sneaky, señor.

You've heard of survival of the fittest... well our next creature fits a category called survival of the "fittingist".

It's the sargassum fish, and it's evolved itself into a perfect predator, because it perfectly (and we mean perfectly) mimics the sargassum plant that gives it its name.

Fish come to the sargassum plant, hoping to harvest what are called hydroids. Instead, they find themselves staring into the eyeball of certain doom. Unfortunately, the fish don't pick up on this. If they did, they'd be making a hasty retreat.

The sargassum fish is the "big bad wolf" of this part of the ocean, off Florida's coast. Here's how clever the sargassum's disguise really is : its body doesn't just mimic the color of the plant. Those white spots on the fish even mimic the tubeworms and hydroids that grow on the sargassum plant. Result? Before its prey can say "Hey! I'm getting eaten by a plant!" it's already been eaten by this sly predator.

Here's something even creepier *cue quasi-scary music* its fins have evolved into prehensile fingers. The better to creep through the foliage with as it searches for more and better prey.

The sargassum fish will eat other fish almost its own size. And here's the creepiest part of all: because of its translucent skin, you can actually watch the victim experience its death throes inside the sargassum fish.

Tags: anglerfish, feeding, fish, marine life, predator, sea life

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