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Paralichthys californicus - California Halibut

Paralichthys californicus - California Halibut

The California halibut hatch with eyes on either side of the head. Over time, one eye moves to the other side, and the body changes orientation so that the fish becomes a flatfish. Halibut lie on one side with both eyes looking upward. Coloration of this species is interesting in that the fish develops pigment on the topside, while the underside does not. This fish will often bury itself partially in the sand, and ambush its prey.


Distribution, Stock Structure and Migration
Eastern Pacific: Quillayute River in northern Washington, USA to southern Baja California, Mexico. Also in northern the Gulf of California


Habitat
Lives mostly on sandy bottoms. Common beyond surf line, also in bays and estuaries. Occurs from near shore to 183 m depth.


Diet
Feeds during the day on fishes and squids, often well off the bottom.


Quick Fact
California halibut is one of the few flat fish on the Pacific coast with significant teeth. Has very sharp teeth and is known to bite if handled.


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