Larval Flounder - Bothus

© 2000 by Image Quest 3-D
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This flatfish larva, admiring his reflection, is the developmental stage of a left-eye flounder, Family Bothidae. It's transformation into the adult form involves changing the entire architecture of its head! Unlike rays, which lie on their bellies, flatfish have evolved to rest on their sides, and in fact each baby flounder retraces this history in its development. Starting out in the plankton (see above) the larva then settles out to the sea floor, sagging to one side and spending more and more time resting sideways on the bottom. Its mouth twists, the entire skull gets remoulded and within a week the right eye has migrated over the brow to end up next to the left eye, as in the final adult form.

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2001 by Image Quest 3-D
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