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Red Gurnard (Chelidonichthys spinosus)

The Red Gurnard or Chelidonichthys spinosus is just one of the over 100 different species of Sea Robins or Gurnards.  This quite peculiar salt water fish is normally found at the sea floor of the ocean in depths of up to 200 m (660 ft).  Like other Sea Robins, they have a set of wings and six spiny feet that actually allow them to walk on the ocean floor in search of food.  These wings are actually pectoral fins that they use to "fly" through the waters.
Red Gurnard can grow to about 12" (30cm) in length and have armored plates instead of scales much like Sturgeon.  They also have a very solid skull, they are basically built like a tank compared to most other fish.  They even have a defense system consisting of sharp spines on their gill plates and dorsal fins that contain a mild poison.  As if all that wasn't weird enough, these fish are also said to make a croaking sound similar to that of a frog.  They accomplish this noise by using their drumming muscle which beats against its swim bladder.   You can check out a Gurnard in action in the video below...

When on the ocean floor this fish will use its legs to search for food.  Red Gurnard fish are considered to be edible but are not the tastiest fish in the ocean by any means.  If you have any additional information about the Red Gurnard please leave us a comment below.


Anonymous said...

i caught one in a river last weekend which was bright red with black.patches on spine and black spots on fins
also had an indentation on its forehead with lots of small spines

Anonymous said...

Hi I caught one in the canals in
Port Mandurah, WA it was the exact same coloring as the one in the video footage. Absoultly amazing and beautiful fish.

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