Wednesday, September 29, 2010

YPM ICH 7720 & 12449: Lizardfishes!

I'm afraid the title of this post gives it all away: these fish look exactly like lizards! Here is YPM ICH 7720, a lizardfish of species Synodus variegatus, collected in the Indian Ocean's Seychelles Islands in 1957:


As you can see, the head of a lizardfish looks, well, like a lizard, but they were actually named for their posture, which is also eerily lizard-like. They like to sit at the bottom of shallow seas in sandy areas, with their head raised like a lizard, propped up by their fins. Here's a picture that shows this:


The above shot was taken this summer by Alex Dornburg, a Yale Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Phd candidate, who was in Curacao collecting specimens for his research on marine fish macroevolution.

Many of our museum specimens are actually still preserved in the lizard posture! Here's one, YPM ICH 12449, species Synodus foetens:


Man, I wish I had posture like that. Mom would be proud....

Here's a final picture, a headshot of YPM ICH 12449:



Source:

Paxton, John R., and W.N. Eschmeyer. 1994. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Academic Press, San Diego.

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