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Named after Charles Darwin, Ogcocephalus darwini, or the red-lipped batfish, is an unusual looking fish. It is a type of anglerfish, the same kind Marlin and Dory had a narrow escape from while searching for Nemo in Finding Nemo, but instead of a fearful thorny mouth, it hangs a pair of bright, red lips, probably in a bid to disguise its predatory behavior. If not for its permanent natural pout, it might have been called cute even. But the red-lipped batfish is anything but.

The fish is found in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean around the Galapagos Islands and off the coast of Peru. It has a rather flattened body, like a bat with its wings spread, and hence its name. Despite being a fish, the red-lipped batfish is a poor swimmer. Instead, it crawls clumsily across the ocean floor in search of food using its pectoral fins that should have been used for swimming. When the batfish reaches maturity, its dorsal fin becomes a single finger-like projection that comes out of the top of the head which marine biologists believe is used to lure preys to their doom. They are still not sure what the droopy lips are for, but reckon they are highly seductive to males.

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Photo credit: The Verge

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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