A tube-dwelling Fringehead. Taken in La Jolla, California by Magnus Kjaergaard
Danielle Andrew 29 Aug 2015, 21:05

Before we start – no, this isn't a GIF of some emo kids engaged a war of cutting and sarcastic words. It shows two sarcastic fringehead fish, or Neoclinus blanchardi, fighting over territory. Apparently not named for their dry sense of humour (I checked), their quirky name is attributed to their aggressive and fearless temperament. Small fish, normally less than 25 centimeters (10 inches) in length, the fringehead can be distinguished by the unusual appendages over their eyes, and wide-opening jaws containing needle like teeth.

Take a look at one Fringehead defending its territory against another. Or maybe they're just trying to cuddle but it's awkward because they have no arms? Who knows.

 

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Found along open coastlines on sand or hard mud bottoms, in anything from burrows to abandoned tubes and shells, Fringeheads are ambush feeders and lightning fast attackers, lying in wait in their shelters ready to pounce on anything silly enough to get too close to its home. These fierce little fish are known to attack not just other fish but divers too, also using intimidation in the form of snapping jaws and head flexing to warn off anyone straying too close. (I'm definitely sure the display would have me swimming a mile.)

 

 

Video only viewable in the U.S due to copyright laws.

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