Face to face encounter

We stick with an underwater theme this week, as we take a close-up view of this scorpion-fish, from the Poor Knights Islands off northern New Zealand.

A nocturnal feeder, the scorpion-fish ranges out over the rocky bottom and up and down cliff faces at night, when many of the daytime feeding fishes seek rest and shelter among holes and crevices.

Scorpion-fish can be aggressive towards people particularly if the diver ventures into its territory. At the approach of a small fish, it makes a short swift rush, propelled by its fanlike pectoral fins. The huge mouth yawns open to engulf the prey with a combined sucking and grasping action and the victim is swallowed whole.

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