Apr 15, 2009

European Plaice

The European plaice is closely related to the sole, and is Europe's most commercially important flatfish. The face of this fish is a bit confusing, but don't be alarmed; it's supposed to look twisted.

You see, the larval plaice is born with its eyes on both sides of its head, like most other fish. But as the larvae matures, one eye migrates across the skull to line up with the eye on the other side of its head. That way, one eye isn't dragging through the mud and sand as the fish swims about on its side.

Photo source: aptass.com

I see the potential for a good children's book here. It's about a larval plaice who is separated from his family at birth, and he's instead reared by a school of attractive angelfish. It soon becomes obvious to the beautiful angelfish that the plaice isn't one of them, for he has drab colors, tends to lie flat on the ocean bottom, and one of his eyes is migrating. The angelfish mock him and tease him, and the young plaice feels dejected. But then sharks come and devour all of the angelfish--everyone, save for the young plaice. You see, the sharks failed to see him, camouflaged and flattened against the seabed as he was. Okay, it might not be a happy children's story, but I think there's a useful message there.

Thanks for the link, Ida.

Photo source: ARKive.org


Sabina E. said...

Uncle Murad, is that you?

The Gravekeeper said...

I vote that we rename this fish the "Picasso Fish."

April Lorier said...

I live close to Hollywood, and think this story should be required reading for all aspiring actors and actresses. You're right: There is a definite message here. Beautiful isn't always best!
See? God even provides for the "ugliest" of His creations!

bats :[ said...

mr. bats :[ says that these are good eatin' (he had plaice in the UK). He also said you can eat them when you're really drunk because the bones are so large, they're virtually impossible to swallow (unless you're really really really drunk).