European plaice Facts

European plaice Facts
European plaice is a type of flatfish that belongs to the family of righteye flounder. It can be found in the Barents Sea (in Russia), Mediterranean and in the Northeast Atlantic. European plaice lives on the bottom of the sea. It prefers areas with sandy, muddy or gravelly bottoms and it can be found on a depth from 33 to 656 feet (most commonly around 164 feet). European plaice is commercially important type of fish. It is also popular as aquarium fish. Major threats for the survival of European plaice are uncontrollable harvest of the fish and pollution of the sea. Despite these factors, European plaice is not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting European plaice Facts:
European plaice can reach 3 feet in length and 15 pounds of weight.
European plaice has smooth brown skin covered with orange or red spots on the upper side of the body. Bottom side of the body is white colored. It can change the color of the body to blend with the colors of the environment.
European plaice has vertically flattened body with diamond-like outline. Both eyes are located on the right side of the body. 4 to 7 bony bumps can be seen behind the eyes.
Name "plaice" originates from the Anglo-French word "plais", derived from Latin word "platessa" which means "flatfish".
European plaice has strong jaw filled with blunt teeth.
European plaice is nocturnal creature (active during the night).
European plaice is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on worms, crustaceans and mollusks. European plaice usually searches food in the shallow waters.
European plaice lays on the seabed on the left (blind) side of the body or buries itself in the sand during the day.
European plaice migrates into deeper water (up to 820 feet deep) during the autumn and winter.
Mating season of European plaice takes place from December to February. European plaice usually travel around 19 miles in 14 days to reach the spawning areas.
Females produce 500.000 eggs per season. Eggs are released every 2 to 5 days during a period of one months. Fertilization takes place in the water and eggs usually hatch after 2 weeks.
Larvae have symmetrical eyes and they swim freely near the surface of the water during the first 6 weeks of their life. After that period, larvae begin transformation into juvenile fish. Body starts to flatten and left eye starts to migrate toward the right side of the body. European plaice completes transformation in 10 days.
Juvenile European plaice live in the shallow water and they can be often found near the beaches during the first year of their life.
European plaice reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 to 7 years.
European plaice can survive up to 50 years in the wild.

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