You probably don’t know this about me yet… but I love fish. Not in a Troy MacClure sort of way, but pretty much everything else: eating them, watching them, reading about them. I should probably extend the love to most marine creatures, but fish came first.
It’s thus always a happy occasion when I get to recognize the discovery of yet another addition to the fabulous family of fish (which, by the way, is not a sensible or useful taxonomic group: there is no coherent monophyletic group that includes all things we call “fish” and their descendants, but then properly excludes things we don’t call fish: like people, dogs, and llamas).
And it is one awesome lookin’ fish. I don’t want to steal some poor divers’ hard work and traffic by taking and reposting his pics, so go check out all the pics over at StarkNakedFish.com, under “New Ambon Frogfish.”
There’s no doubt that the critter is a type of anglerfish (the order Lophiiformes), and the very first thought that comes to mind when seeing it definately is “frogfish” (the family Antennariidae). But it seems to lack the distinguishing head lumps, and that dinner-plate face and binocular eyes (the latter a real rarity) are definately intriguing. It’s probably a little too early to grant it its own taxonomic family, but I’ve certainly never seen a species quite like it before, and I’ve spent way too much time looking at fish.
The picture that MSNBC is using almost reminds me of a frilled lizard.