Wild Fact #50 – Walk, Crawl and Swim – Sea Robin

Sea Robin

Photo from Wikipedia

Cool Facts about the Sea Robin

  • Sea Robin is also known as Gurnard, due to the fact that when caught, they use a special muscle that hits against the swim bladder and makes a distinctive frog-like sound, like grunting.
  • This amazing fish is part of the Scorpaeniformes family of carnivorous fish which feed on crustaceans and smaller fish, but also on shrimps, crabs and other small amphipods.
  • Another good to know fact is that Sea Robins have sharp spines on their dorsal fins and gill plates that inject a mild poison, causing a little bit of pain that passes in a day or two, so watch out.


A Fish Adapted for Survival

The Sea Robin lives in warm ocean coastal waters all around the globe. Being a warm water fishes means that, like other fish of this kind, Sea Robins disappear from the coast in the month of October to wait out the cold season and leave in the offshore. In my opinion, this makes them incredibly intelligent.

They live most of their lives on bottom ocean floors, where they search for small prey with the help of their independent feelers, the lower rays of each of its pectoral fins. When they swim, they use their pectoral fins in the same manner a bird uses its wings to fly, making the Sea Robin a really exotic and unique presence in the ocean waters. In addition, they use this pair of fins to raise the dust and blur the bottom of the ocean in order to catch small crustaceans and fish hidden in the crevices of the ocean floor (I told you they were smart).

Sea Robin

Photo by Andy Murch

Another interesting feature of this odd looking fish is its armored plates that cover their head and parts of their body. They don’t need this armour to protect themselves from predators but instead use it to handle the incredible gravitational pressure that exists 200 m (656 feet) below the surface of the ocean. where this amazing fish lives.


Sea Robins, a Fish Only a Mother Could Love

Some say that Sea Robins are the result of mixing a fish with a frog, a bird and an insect – which makes sense if you look at them closely. They kind of remind me of the Platypus – a mixture of all different animals. To add to their uniqueness, the three lateral feelers they have on each side has turned this species into a total oddity, a fish that both walks, crawls and swims at the same time. How cool is that?

Besides, their large heads and huge mouth which makes them look like an angry mafia mob who is in for a fresh kill. Yes, they look hideous and ferocious with their gray muddy colors but this is nature’s way of adapting to the environment in order to survive. You know, they say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ and this is what we should do when it comes to Sea Robins, because they have some astonishing adaptations and have done a great job living in a tough environment.  So, let’s give Sea Robins another chance and appreciate the intelligent and unique way in which they’ve learned to survive and thrive at the bottom of our planet’s ocean floors.

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