Very odd fish caught in Mexico

cholas

Dagobah Resident
These photos were taken by my Brother-in-law who is a fisherman. This particular fish (or what have you?) was caught near Puerto Vallarta and none of his fisher buddies have ever seen anything like it. ( nor have I)

Anyone recognize the species? Seems to have chicken-like "wings" and little feet. Maybe it's just from the deep or very far from it's normal habitat?

IMG_5572.jpgIMG_5571.jpgIMG_5570.jpg
 

brandon

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member

Brewer

Jedi Master
Some kind of Skate maybe? Weird and mutant looking one though.. Some have those "fake eyes" bright spots on their backs, and looks like some types do have little hand-like flippers underneath, and leg-like things behind.
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Found this: Mysterious sea creature draws 'alien' comparisons with its sharp teeth, spiky skin

And this: The First Fish to Evolve The Ability to Walk Never Even Left The Ocean
Don't think it's a skate, the fins have multiple spines which skates and rays don't have. Great looking fish though, thanks for posting!
 

Alma.Innovadora

Jedi Council Member
On sott.com you will find a lot of information about the reason why fish that live in the deep sea, tend to appear in fishermen's nets more frequently. For the angler who has been fishing in the same area for many years and seeing only the same type of species, yes, it will certainly seem strange to see something "new/odd".

The species found in and around Belize, is the Short-Nosed Batfish, but there are about 60 species of fishes of the family Ogcocephalidae (order Lophiiformes), found in warm and temperate seas; of which the Short-Nosed Batfish is a member.

Typically, bat fish dwell on the bottom of the ocean floor. So this was a rare find indeed. They are found in deep, lightless waters of the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific Oceans. They are bottom-dwelling fishes, mostly found on the continential slope at depths between 660 feet and 3,300 feet deep. Found singly on mud, rubble and sandy bottoms resting on the sand or partially covered in sand or mud close to reef edges. They feed on algae, fish, invertebrates and worms.



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The one in your photo looks like a younger version, because of the length of the legs compared to this photo.
 

Ben

Jedi Council Member
Thanks Alma and Ben. Pretty sure that is the critter.

From the deep, I'm guessing. I'll pass this info on. 👍
Worth bearing in mind that the yellow spots would suggest otherwise. Yellow colours are common in relatively shallow water fish (reef fish for example) due to the wavelength of light passing through water. They also look like a 'false eyes' predator deterrent due to their position. Both these features suggest they are likely intended to be seen visually, unlikely in very deep water species. This is just an educated guess.
 
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