The Fish That Prefers To Walk
Similar to their close cousin the anglerfish, handfish have an illicium, but they don't use it as a lure. Rather, handfish walk the seabed on their pectoral fins and suck up shrimps and small crustaceans. Originally called the "walking fish," they only swim when necessary. Comprised of five genera, the handfish family is endemic to the coastal waters of Tasmania and Australia. They have been recognized as endangered since the 1990s.
Key Facts In This Video
The spotted handfish was declared an endangered species in 1996. (0:08)
Handfish sit still for long periods to lay their eggs, which makes them vulnerable to predators. (1:28)
Scientists are concerned that sediment and pollution may also to be to blame for the decline in handfish. (2:34)