There are hundreds of different species of sea creatures. Bottom dwelling animals are seen
only by divers. Ordinary people like me and you see them only through pictures brought to us
by underwater photographers. Before I continue further, I would like to say thank you to all scuba
divers and underwater photographers for their untiring effort to bring us images of bottom-dwelling
Pancake Batfish (Halieutichthys aculeatus)
The Pancake Batfish is a fish with unusual appearance –it is flat and resembles a pancake. It can be
found in the waters of western Atlantic, North Carolina, Gulf of Mexico and northern South America.
They inhabit a subtropical, sandy and reef-associated environment from 45 to 820 meters deep. They
live on the bottom, covered in sand.
Roughback Batfish (Ogcocephalus parvu)
The peculiar-looking Roughback Batfish is another bottom-dwelling creature sometimes referred to as
anglerfish. It is usually found in deep, lightless waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. It looks
like a ray in some aspect with a large circular, triangular, or box-shaped head and a small tail. This bottom-
dwelling fish is mostly found depths between 200 m or 660 ft and 1,000 m or 3,300 ft.
Spotted Handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus)
The unique Spotted Handfish is a rare Australian fish classified as Critically Endangered. It is unusual in
that it has highly adapted pectoral fins, which appear like hands (hence the name) and allow it to walk on
the sea floor. It has a highly restricted territory, being found only in the estuary of Derwent River, Tasmania
and nearby areas.
A nudribranch or sea slug is known as one of the most colorful marine creatures. As the common saying
goes, there’s an exemption in every rule and one of this is Melibe mirifica, a species of dull-colored sea slug.
It is one of the few, if not the only, dull-colored sea slugs and definitely the ugliest amongst nudribranch.
Red-lipped Batfish (Ogcocephalus darwini)
Another peculiar-looking bottom-dweller is the Red-lipped Batfish. It is an unusual looking fish found
on the Galapagos Islands. Red-lipped batfish are closely related to Rosy-lipped Batfish. Both fish species
look and behave very similarly to one another. Batfish are not good swimmers; they use their pectoral
fins to “walk” on the ocean floor. When the batfish reaches adulthood, its dorsal fin becomes a single
spine-like projection that lures prey.
Rosy-lipped Batfish (Ogcocephalus porrectus)
I think this bottom-dweller is the muse of the ocean floor. The lovely-looking Rosy-lipped Batfish can be
found in Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica. It is similar in appearance to the Red-lipped Batfish
which is found in the nearby Galapagos Islands.
This one is wearing a lighter shade of lipstick!
Scallop Ribbonfish (Zu cristatus)
The Scalloped Ribbonfish with distinctively unusual mouth and long tail is found circumglobally in all
oceans, at depths down to 90 meters. This species of fish can grow to a length of up to 118 centimeters.
Bat Ray (Myliobatis californica)
This ray is commonly called Bat Ray but it is actually an eagle ray, quite confusing, whew! It is found in
muddy or sandy sloughs, estuaries and bays, kelp beds and rocky-bottomed shoreline in the eastern
Pacific Ocean, between the Oregon coast and the Gulf of California, hence the scientific name.. It is also
found in the area around the Galapagos Islands. It can grow to a wingspan of 1.8 m and up and a mass of
91 kg and up.
It has a venomous spine in its tail but it is not considered dangerous because it uses the spine only
when attacked or frightened. Currently, the bat ray is fished commercially in Mexico. Bat rays are not
considered endangered or threatened. Bat Rays now are popular in marine parks, and visitors are often
allowed to touch or stroke the ray, usually on the wing.
Starry Handfish (Halieutaea stellata)
The odd-looking Starry Handfish or Halieutaea stellata is a batfish species found on the continental shelves
of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. It is usually found at depths of between 50 and 400 meters. This
bizarre sea creature can grow up to 30 centimeters long.
Bombay Duck (Harpadon nehereus)
This marine animal is not only unusual in appearance but it is also has an unusual name. It is called
Bombay Duck but in reality it’s a lizardfish, whew, quite misleading! Other names for this fish include
Bummalo, Bamaloh, Loita, Bumla and Bombil. It is native to the waters of Mumbai (formerly Bombay),
Kutch in the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and China Sea. It has a longer lower jaw. It is often dried
and salted before it is consumed. After drying, the odor of the fish is extremely powerful, and it must
consequently be transported in air-tight containers.
Shortnose Batfish (Ogcocephalus nasutus)
Batfish like this Shortnose Batfish is related to anglerfish and like the anglers it uses a fleshy appendage
on its head to lure in victims. It preys on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. It lives on the bottom, covered in
sand. The bat fish uses its highly modified pelvic and anal fins to “walk” along the bottom slowly. They inhabit
the Western Atlantic sticking primarily to sand and silt beds.
Brazilian Batfish (Ogcocephalus vespertilio)
The Brazilian Batfish or Ogcocephalus vespertilio can be found in the western Atlantic, in the Antilles
and in Brazil. It preys on bottom-dwelling invertebrates and lives on the bottom, usually covered in sand.
Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you!