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March 11, 2018

The Harry Frogfish - Strange Fish

National Geographic Kids

The hairy frogfish is a type of fish that’s covered in spines. These spines, which resemble strands of hair, allow the marine animal to camouflage itself against coral and seaweed. Found mostly in warm waters around the world, the hairy frogfish can also change its color to blend in with its surroundings. 

These animals may be excellent at hiding in plain sight. However they do something that really makes them stand out from a lot of other sea creatures. The fish—which usually grow about four inches long—don’t swim. Instead they walk on their wide fins along the seafloor as they look for snacks to eat.

When it comes to meals, hairy frogfish aren’t too picky. They chow down crustaceans and other fish such as flounder. These guys sometimes sneak up on their prey. But other times they make their prey come to them. Hairy frogfish have a special extra-long spine on their dorsal fins that looks like a worm. By waving this bait back and forth in front of their mouths, they can lure a target within striking distance. Talk about being put in a hairy situation! 

Text by Andrea Silen, NGS Staff

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