Feb 27, 2009 03:43 PM | 2
We wouldn’t mind swimmin' with these fishes.
Check out Histiophryne psychedelica, a new species named for its crazy tan and peach stripes, and lackadaisical style of getting around the seafloor, which resembles hopping more than swimming. The fish is described in this month's issue of the journal Copeia.
No other fish is known to "hop," study co-author Ted Pietsch, a curator of fish at the University of Washington's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, said in a statement. Divers first spotted the fish in January 2008 in the harbor of Ambon Island, Indonesia.
The fist-size fishies are covered with thick folds of skin that scientists think protect them while they're hunting for food amid sharp coral. Their tails are curled to one side, which may affect their ability to steer—hence, their bouncing mode of transportation.
Like chameleons, members of the anglerfish order typically change their color to blend into their environment—but H. psychedelica doesn't. David Hall, another co-author, believes the trippy fish may instead be mimicking corals.
Image of Histiophryne psychedelica © David Hall/seaphotos.com
Video courtesy of the University of Washington
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