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50.4 MB (8.8 MB compressed)
5135 x 3429 pixels
43.4 x 29.0 cm ⏐ 17.1 x 11.4 in (300dpi)
GEORGETTE DOUWMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGETTE DOUWMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Leaf scorpionfish (Taenianotus triacanthus) resting on rocks. This fish inhabits the tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific region, from east Africa to Hawaii and the Galapagos. It takes its name from its habit of swaying from side to side like a dead leaf in a current. It is a lie-in-wait predator, remaining still and using its cryptic colouration to remain undetected by predators or prey. It waits until its prey, mainly small crustaceans and fish, gets close and then engulfs it with a sudden gulp, which sucks it into its mouth. The spines along its back contain a potent toxin, which deters predators. Photographed in Malaysia.
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