PLATE FISH OR PEACOCK FLOUNDER - master of disguise (Bothus lunatus)
The Peacock Flounder, Bothus lunatus, also known as Plate Fish, or known simply as Flounder, is a marine fish widely distributed in coastal waters of the tropical and subtropical western Atlantic, throughout the wide area including Bermuda, the Bahamas and Florida, Tobago, south to Fernando de Noronha off the Brazilian coast, and southern Mexico. They are very common throughout the Caribbean Sea.
Like all flounders, peacock flounders are masters of camouflage. They use cryptic coloration to avoid being detected by both prey and predators. Whenever possible rather than swim they crawl on their fins along the bottom while constantly changing colors and patterns. In a study, peacock flounders demonstrated the ability to change colors in just eight seconds. They were even able to match the pattern of a checkerboard they were placed on. The changing of the colors is an extremely complex and not well understood process. It involves the flounder’s vision and hormones. The flounders match the colors of the surface by releasing different pigments to the surface of the skin cells while leaving some of the cells white by suppressing those pigments.
If one of the flounder’s eyes is damaged or covered by sand, the flounders have difficulties in matching their colors to their surroundings. Whenever hunting or hiding from predators, the flounders bury themselves into the sand leaving only the eyes protruding.
Fact Source: http://www.allfishingbuy.com/Fish-Species/Peacock-Flounder.htm
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