Tuesday, May 11, 2010
May 11, 2010 : Stargazer
In addition to the top-mounted eyes, stargazers also have a large upward-facing mouth in a large head. Their usual habit is to bury themselves in sand, and leap upwards to ambush prey (benthic fish and invertebrates) that pass overhead. Some species have a worm-shaped lure growing out of the floor of the mouth, which they can wiggle to attract prey's attention. Both the dorsal and anal fins are relatively long; some lack dorsal spines. Lengths range from 18 cm up to 90 cm, for the giant stargazer Kathetostoma giganteum.
Stargazers are venomous; they have two large poison spines situated behind the opercle and above the pectoral fins. They can also cause electric shocks.