Do flat fishes have two eyes on one side?« Back to Questions List

Unbelievably strange and unusual creatures lead life under the sea. Some are odd shaped looking quite scary while some look as if equipped with fishing rod and some look as if someone chopped off its tail. Of those varied lot, flat fishes are common in the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.

Flat fishes are bottom dwellers whose body structure is adapted to sideways life. Very young flat fish looks like a normal fish. Gradually as it grows, one of its eyes begins to migrate. Older fish has both eyes on the same side.

flat fish

Flat fish starts life looking like most other fish. Soon it begins to lean to one side. As the flat fish turns to one side, the surface becoming the underside loses its pigment.  Now one eye migrates, travelling almost completely across the head so that both eyes are on the same side. The lower or the ‘blind’ side of the fish becomes pale or white. In many species, the mouth may turn upward too. 

Examples of flat fish include flounders, halibuts, sole and plaice. They all swim and rest lying on one side of their body feeding on other fish, shrimp, crabs and worms. Most of them become thin and flat.

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