Stonefish

Stonefish

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa) camouflaged on a coral reef. An eye is seen at upper centre. This bottom-dwelling fish inhabits reefs and shallow waters in the tropical Indo-Pacific region. Its camouflage makes it indistinguishable from the rocks and reefs amongst which it hides. It waits, immobile, and ambushes its prey (small fish or crustaceans) and swallows them whole. The fins along its back contain poisonous spines, used in defence. Its poison can be fatal within hours to humans if medical attention is not received. Photographed off Rangiroa Atoll, French Polynesia, in the Pacific Ocean.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, biological, biology, camouflage, camouflaged, coral reef, danger, dangerous, fatal, fauna, fish, french polynesia, hazard, hazardous, indo-pacific, mimic, mimicry, nature, one, pacific ocean, poison, poisonous, rangiroa atoll, sea, seabed, single, stonefish, synanceia verrucosa, toxic, tropical, tropics, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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