Dwight and Jennifer Bodden had quite the surprise when they recently went swimming off the coast of East End. In about 7 feet of water, they spied a creature they had never seen before, sitting on the sea floor.
“When I first saw it, I thought it was an alien-looking thing,” said Dwight Bodden. “Then I went closer to see if it was real, and as I got really close it started walking away across the bottom.”
Fascinated by the animal, the pair captured it and put it in a large saltwater aquarium to see if they could find out more about it.
“Ocean Frontiers identified it as a short-nosed batfish,” Jennifer said. “Apparently it is quite rare in these waters. Dwight has swum all around [Grand Cayman] since he was a child and he’s never seen one.”
The short-nosed batfish, also known as a walking batfish, belongs to the order Lophiiformes, to which anglerfish also belong. According to walkingbatfish.com: “Some of the better known members of the Lophiiformes are [monkfishes and frogfishes].
“Batfishes are small benthic fishes found worldwide in tropical to subtropical seas, generally on continental shelves and slopes on flat, relatively open bottom habitats of rubble, sand, and mud.”
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