Flounder Facts

Flounder Facts
Flounder is a type of flatfish. There are around 30 species of flounder that can be found in tropical and temperate coastal waters of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Flounder lives on the ocean floor. It usually inhabits areas near the coral reefs, bridge piles and docks. Even though most species prefer coastal waters, some types of flounders can be found on a depth of 35.000 feet. Despite accelerated pollution of the sea and excessive commercial fishing, wild population of flounders is still large and stable.
Interesting Flounder Facts:
Flounder can reach 5 to 25 inches in length. Females are larger than males.
Color of the body depends on the habitat. Flounders are usually brown colored with various red, orange, green and blue markings on the body. They can change the color of the body to blend with the colors of the environment in 2 to 8 seconds.
Color of the body also indicates emotional state of the flounder. Threatened animals are usually pale-colored.
Flounder has oval, flattened body with large mouth. Tail fin is medium-sized.
Flounder has bulging eyes on two short stalks that are located on one side of the head. Eyes can move independently from each other. Based on the position of the eyes, flounders can be divided into two basic categories: righteye and lefteye flounders.
Flounder is nocturnal animal (active during the night).
Flounder is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on fish, shrimps and crabs.
Flounder is an ambush predator. It lays motionless and waits for potential prey to appear and grabs it in a blink of an eye. Well-camouflaged flounder is also safe from numerous sea predators when it lays motionless on the sea floor.
Flounder uses its fins to bury itself into the sand. Eyes are usually the only visible part of the body.
Natural enemies of flounders are sharks, eels and humans.
Mating season of flounders takes place during the warmest months of the year.
Female releases up to 100.000 eggs in the water at the same time when male releases sperm cells. Larvae (fry) hatch from the fertilized eggs couple of weeks later.
Larva looks like typical fish with eyes on both sides of head. It freely swims and feeds on miniature crustaceans and plankton.
Transformation of larvae into juvenile fish (metamorphosis) starts couple of days after hatching. Body starts to flatten, dorsal and anal fins become more elongated and young flounder loses its swimming bladder (it provides buoyancy required for active swimming). Either left of right eye migrates toward the top of the head. Side of the body where eyes are located becomes darker colored and represents top of the fish. Other side starts to fade and becomes bottom part of the body.
Flounder can survive from 3 to 10 years in the wild.

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