I had teased about a batfish video, but after reviewing the clip, I decided against it. My policy of protecting the privacy of my students forced me to put a hold on that video. I just felt one student in the mix might not be anonymous, and even though she probably wouldn't care, she's not in charge here.
Unless kids at my school are especially buddysome with Junior, they mostly don't know of Pure Florida and I like it that way.
There will be other batfish videos ... trust me. The one you're not seeing was a scene similar to the pic above, except a student was holding Batty, not me ... and there was lots of excited banter and questions with me explaining batfish structure and habits.
... kinda like the ray in "Finding Nemo".
Batfish are pretty common here and so slow that you can almost pick them up by wading and looking. Part of that is due to the fact that they tend to freeze when alerted.
They are in the angler fish group ... a pretty weird assortment of fish ... remember the deep sea angler in "Nemo"?
Thanks to Disney, my students picture deep sea anglers with spotlights atop their punkin heads rather than a dim bioluminescent glow.
Batfish are demersal, which means you hang out on or very near the bottom. For batfish, the operative term is ON the bottom. They walk about on those nicely adapted pectoral fins stalking small invertebrates and anything else small enough to fit in their tiny mouths.
They are bumpy not scaly and so unfishlike that the kids almost never see it as a fish when one pops up in a seine or cast net.
"THAT'S A FISH?"
And then they ask, "Can we take it back?"
Back to our large classroom aquarium is what they mean.
I always say no, having learned my lesson on much earlier field trips like this. For some reason, batfish just do not do well in an aquarium. They refuse to eat, then wither and die so batfish are always a catch and release item on my trips.
Like the Ancient Mariner, (hey, who you callin' ancient?) I have a few batfish hanging around my neck from those early years and I don't plan to add anymore.