Habitat: found in the Pacific, off the coast of North America, from San Francisco, California, to central Baja California
Status: No conservation concerns
Now here’s a fish with the epitome of a ‘big mouth.’ Meet the Sarcastic Fringehead (Neoclinus blanchardi) – an aggressive and bizarre fish that defends its territory by battling rivals with their terrifyingly large open mouths. The Sarcastic Fringeheads will press their mouths together, as if they were kissing, to determine who has the biggest mouth, and therefore the overall bigger fish. No one is safe from the Sarcastic Fringehead’s wrath, as even divers have been attacked when crossing into the fish’s territory unknowingly.
Growing up to 12 inches in length with virtually no scales, the fringeheads appear almost eel-like. Though, to me they resemble the Predators that always seem to fight with those pesky Aliens.
Alien vs. Predator (or Sarcastic Fringhead)?
Now check out this video from BBC’s Life, narrated by my boy David Attenborough, on the Sarcastic Fringehead. Fast forward to 1:53 to see that infamous gaping mouth… or watch the whole thing to see it face off against an octopus. Somehow I think I know which you’ll choose (if you’re smart).
I have a confession: I love animals. Join me and the rest of the Featured Creature community as we learn about the weirdest, coolest, and craziest animals out there. Including your dog, Mr. Scrufflebutt (if you submit him!).