After spending the last two days dealing with “scary” animals, I figured we would head back to the ocean to enjoy a nice, cuddly, normal creature. Yes, they don’t get more normal than the Red-Lipped Batfish. Yes, that was definitely sarcasm, even if it is difficult to detect in a blog post. If you look at the picture above, you will quickly see that the Red-Lipped Batfish is anything but cute, cuddly or normal. This makes sense since they are found in the oceans surrounding one of the most intriguing places on earth, the Galapagos Islands. So grab you gear and let’s go exploring.
What I find most interesting about the Red-Lipped Batfish is they are horrible swimmers. Now, I know what you are thinking.. what kind of fish can’t swim? Well, the kind that prefers to walk along the ocean floor, that’s what kind. Yep, this particular fish has some weird looking fins that they have modified to use as legs. You would think that this might give them an extra advantage amongst all the other sea creatures. Well, I am not sure if the legs give them an edge but I do know that this next bizarre characteristic definitely does.
Much like some other deep sea fish, the Red-Lipped Batfish loves to trick their prey into coming nice and close. They do this by using a shiny “lure” that projects from their head. This attracts small animals such as crabs, mollusks and shrimp, which of course is probably the last thing any of these prey species see before they meet their demise. Although, these fish are die-hard carnivores, but that is not blood on their lips. Nope, the red-coloured lips stay around all year and serve a very important purpose. What this purpose is, I am not entirely sure. Although, some scientists believe it helps the males show off for the females during mating season, but this hasn’t been confirmed. Sounds like this could be a great project for any aspiring Marine Biologists.
Red-Lipped Batfish Fast Fact – I figured we could use some good news for a change so I thought I would tell you that this strange looking fish is not even close to being at risk. As far as we know, they have no threats and should stick around for a long, long time. Perhaps this whole “Walking Fish” thing works after all.
I hope you enjoyed your trip to the ocean floor. I will see you tomorrow for another fun Wild Fact.