The Handfish Walks on Its Fins

(Image: CSIRO)

Pictured above is the Spotted Handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus). It's one of several related species which have fins that look like hands or feet. The Spotted Handfish lives in the estuary of the River Derwent, which flows from the interior of Tasmania into the Pacific Ocean. These fish live on the sea floor, gently pushing themselves around with their foot-like fins.

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The Spotted Handfish is an endangered species. Unfortunately for them, Spotted Handfish prefer to lay their eggs on Sea Tulips. The Northern Pacific Sea Star hunts these Sea Tulips, which gives the Spotted Handfish fewer places to lay their eggs.

To help them breed more prolifically, conservationists have stuck plastic tubes into the sea floor. The Spotted Handfish have responded by laying their eggs on these tubes as acceptable substitutes for Sea Tulips.

-via It's Okay to Be Smart

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