The sea robin is a bizarre predator with an incredible ability

The ocean is full of creatures that are more unique and bizarre than we could ever imagine. The underwater world is home to animals that live in a delicate balance. They are predators one minute and prey the next. The tide can turn in an instant and almost every living being here must be constantly aware of looming threats. Many animals possess surprising means of self defense and others have unique abilities that make them very efficient predators. Survival in the ocean is not always a matter of who is larger or stronger. The Triglidae, also known as the sea robin is a fish that is unlike any other. It is a bottom dweller that has large pectoral fins that resemble the wings of a bird. This feature is what gives the fish its name. The pectoral fins and supportive structures separate as the fish develops. The fin rays are used for locomotion, allowing the sea robin to walk along the sand or bottom structure. These walking rays have another amazing purpose. They allow the sea robin to detect prey buried beneath the sand through chemoreception. They detect the amino acids of marine invertebrates. The sea robin can stir up creatures from the sand and then inhale and eat them. As a defense, the sea robin has a very thick skull and armoured plates, making it difficult for all but the strongest of predators to eat. They have an unusual feature that is used for creating a drumming sound. They possess a muscle that beats against the swim bladder when they are threatened. When removed from the water, this will produce a croaking sound, similar to a frog. The sea robin has recently been sought as a food source by humans. They have a firm flesh and a mild taste that makes them very popular for the French dish, bouillabaisse. They are also used for soups and stews due to their firm texture. But for the scuba diver or nature enthusiast, they are a fascinating sight on the reef, and far too interesting to eat.

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