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The Walking Fish

{Indeed, your Lord – He is the Knowing Creator.} (Al Hijr 15:86)

It’s not a “Pokémon” character. It isn’t a creature from a science fiction movie. This is a real specie. They don’t crawl on land like well-known Catfish but they literally “walk” in the sea.

Brachiopsilus dianthus is a walking fish which uses its fins to walk on the ocean floor rather than swim.

Also known as the Pink Handfish, it is just one of 14 fish species on Earth classified under the Brachionichthyidae Handfish family, which is a suborder of Lophiiformes Anglerfish.

Their habitat is the Pacific shallow coastal waters of southeast Australia. A bony scales-covered fish, it is just about 15 cm long, but because of its rarity, scientists know very little else about its biological makeup.

Interestingly, another close relative which also uses walking as their preferred method of movement in water are the Frogfish (Antennariidae) family, which is also a Lophiiformes Anglerfish.

However, unlike Handfish, Frogfish are endemic to the majority of tropics and subtropics worldwide, with the Mediterranean Sea being the main exception.

Some other fish families walk in the sea too but with different type of hand/fins, some having two spines instead of being flat.

This article is from Science’s archive and we’ve originally published it on an earlier date.


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