Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ode to Batfish: Biology in Verse

Oh batfish, oh batfish of the briny deep
On modified pectoral fins you creep
“Walking” along the benthic sea floor
Of all the fishes, it’s you I adore

Your rostrum projects like a unicorn snout
While your dorsal fin spine above you pokes out
You wave it about to attract your prey
Like an undersea angler, or so they say

Dorsoventral compression makes your body shape flat
Thick fins project sideways, like the wings of a bat
Often your skin is bumpy and brown
Though some colorful species remind us of clowns

Large head, in a circle or triangle shape
With a tiny tail, you assess the landscape
Your beauteous lips in an eternal pout
Eating worms, fish, crustaceans is what you are about

Some species reside in shallower seas
While others crawl in the deep with ease
Tropical and subtropical oceans you span
And I will always be your biggest fan

Some say that you’re ugly, some say that you’re strange
But there’s nothing about you I would willingly change
Oh batfish, oh batfish who dwells in the sea
My favorite fish you will always be

For more on the batfish (aka the coolest fish ever):


And check out these batfish videos!