National Geographic : 1905 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 340 it was difficult to distinguish the head of the fish from a piece of rock covered with sea - weed, calcareous sponges (Grantia compressa), ascidians, zo ophytes, and the other low invertebrate forms which are usually to be seen on a rocky shore at low tide. The nasal ap pendage appeared to be the facsimile of a young frond of oar-weed (Laminaria digitata) ; but the most extraordinary mimicry of all appeared-where we would least expect it-in the creature's eyes ! Saville Kent says : " We have here in this fish, then, the most perfect possible embodiment of a rocky boulder, with its associated animal and vegetable growths. " Lying prone at the bottom of the ocean among ordinary rocks and debris, it might well pass muster as an inani mate object, and the other fish on which it preys would approach it with im punity, and never discover their mistake until too late to escape from its merci less jaws. " Ensconce the animal snugly, how- FIG. 8 . -Young Angler with most of the characteristics of adults, but larger pectorals and ventrals and less flattened head. (After Riippell.) " These organs are very large and prominent, the iris being conical in shape, of a yellow ground color, with longitudinal stripes of a darker shade, while the pupil, commencing abruptly at the summit, is of so jetty a hue that the aspect of the whole is that of a hol low truncated cone, resembling, with its longitudinal stripes, the deserted shell of an acorn barnacle, and with an amount of exactness that is apparent to the most ordinary observer. ever, in the crevice of some precipitous submarine cliff, and the illusion is more perfectly complete. No strategy need now be exerted by the voracious fish to attract his prey ; he has only to lie close and quiet, letting his tendrils sway to and fro in the passing current like the weeds around him, and the shoals will approach browsing the vegetation or pursuing their crustaceous diet-right into his very mouth." H.A.L.