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F is for Frogfish

Move over blobfish—there's something even stranger floating around out there in the ocean. Cue the delightfully weird frogfish.

F is for Frogfish Illustration

From the brightly spotted clown frogfish to the spine-covered hairy frogfish, these lumpy, bumpy fish feature an eclectic set of colors and other adornments. Some can even change color to camouflage among rocks, coral and algae.

Frogfish are anglerfish, but not the creepy deep-sea dwellers that probably come to mind. And they are not nearly as frightening, at least not by appearance.

They typically inhabit tropic and sub-tropic seas, and they lack the familiar gaping mouths of long, spiny teeth and glowing, otherworldly appendages. Instead, a strange spine resembling a worm dangles from their head, enticing passing fish and crustaceans.


Frogfish also have a bizarre way of getting around. Spending most of their time on the ocean floor, frogfish often choose not to swim, opting instead to "walk" along the seafloor with the help of their pelvic and pectoral fins.

This alternative method of locomotion may make frogfish slow moving, but when it's time to feast they turn fast and furious. Frogfish can gulp down a meal in a matter of milliseconds. With lightning speed they snap open their jaws, swallowing prey in one swift motion. Stretchy stomachs and expanding bodies even allow them to capture animals nearly twice their size.

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Oceans A to Z

Oceans A to Z

It's time to re-learn your alphabet.

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