Dec 4, 2008

Vacuum Feeder

You're looking into the indistinct and colorful face of a scorpion fish. There are all sorts of scorpion fish, ranging from the lethal stone fish to the lion fish you see in some saltwater aquariums. All have venomous spines and employ ambush tactics to catch their prey. Some use a variety of tassels, warts, and even algal and hydroid growths to camouflage themselves.

They suck their prey (crustaceans, cephalopods, and other fish) into their mouth by snapping their jaws open so suddenly that they create a vacuum. The gulp takes around 15 milliseconds. My wife accuses me of feeding in a similar manner.

Thanks for the photo, Amaury.

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