When C-O Sole’s are first born they look like any other fish. But over time they go through a crazy metamorphosis that allows them to be one truly unique fish found in the waters of Catalina. If you were to break C-O Sole’s scientific name, Pleuronicthyes coenosus, down you would find that in Greek Pleuronicthys translates into “side” “fish” while coenosus translates to the Latin word “muddy.” This accurately describes the physical appearance of this fish.
Over time C-O Sole’s will go through a major transformation. As they grow older they begin to swim at an angle, either leaning more towards the right or more towards the left. But that’s not all! As they begin to swim more and more at an angle the eye that is found on the side facing down begins to force itself around their skull until it completely travels to the opposite side of their head. Soon after this eye movement occurs the C-O Sole will finish its transformation and spend the rest of its life as a flat fish.
But why go through all that effort? By going through this transformation C-O Sole’s have developed some amazingly unique features. First off their ability to camouflage is incredible! Being super flat allows them to fully cover themselves with sand and completely blend into their surroundings. And because both eyes are located on top of their head they have excellent vision, even when completely buried in sand. Their ability to hide within the sand is extremely beneficial when trying to escape the dangers found throughout the ocean.
C-O Sole’s are also excellent predators as well! They utilize their amazing camouflage skills to sneak up on their potential prey and use an ambush style technique.
Written by: Alex Feltes