Thursday, June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010 : Handfish


Handfish are anglerfish in the family Brachionichthyidae, a group which comprises five genera and fourteen extant species.

They are small (up to 15 cm) bottom-dwelling marine fish found in coastal waters of southern Australia and Tasmania. Their skin is covered with denticles (tooth-like scales), giving them the name warty anglers. This is the most species-rich of the few marine fish families that are endemic to Australia. Handfish are unusual, slow moving fishes that prefer to 'walk' rather than swim, using their modified pectoral fins to move about on the sea floor. These highly modified fins have the appearance of hands, hence their scientific name, from Latin
bracchium meaning "arm" and Greek ichthys meaning "fish".

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