Animal Update: Pinecone Fish

Three pinecone fish have been added to the Sensing exhibit! 

Published September 22, 2017

Pinecone fish can be found in the Indian and western Pacific oceans, from South Africa to Australia. They prefer to lurk in caves and under ledges, and are commonly found in waters from 65 to 650 feet deep.
They can grow up to 7 inches long but typically range from 3 to 6 inches. The pinecone fish is a carnivore that eats live prey, such as shrimp and small fish. 

Pinecone fish are named for their unique appearance—they are round and bright yellow in color with scales outlined in black that resemble a pinecone. 

These fish are nocturnal and have a light-producing organ on each side of their head. Bacteria, which live in these organs in a symbiotic relationship, are responsible for producing the pinecone fish’s bioluminescence.

The color of their bioluminescence varies from yellow to blue-green, depending on the amount of light reaching it. Pinecone fish can hide the light when necessary to avoid unwanted attention.

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes updates! 

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