The telescope fish is also known as the long-eye or masked goby. These beautiful little fishes are found in tropical and subtropical waters around the globe. They’re fairly small and tend to lurk at the bottom of their watery home most of the time, so you probably won’t see them unless you’re looking for them.
They have an unusual appearance, with large eyes that give them a “telescopic” appearance and make them look like an alien from another world. Some species have feathery antennae, while others have masked faces with beaks like a bird or catfish. These beautiful fish may seem out of this world, but they are more similar to us than we might think! Here are seven interesting facts about these fascinating fish…
What To Expect In This Article
- Fact 1: They’re Actually Pretty Smart
- Fact 2: They Can Be Hosts To Other Creatures
- Fact 3: They Have Unique Eyes That Can See in The Dark.
- Fact 4: They are Born Males, But Can Become Females Later in Life.
- Fact 5: They are Equipped with Bioluminescent Whiskers.
- Fact 6: They are Cleaning Specialists
- Fact 7: They Have a Unique Defense Mechanism
- How Large Is A Telescope Fish?
- Are Telescope Fish Endangered?
- Final Thoughts
Fact 1: They’re Actually Pretty Smart
Telescope fish have a reputation for being dim-witted because of their unusual appearance and unusual place on the planet. But in reality, they have a massive brain-to-body ratio. Their brains are much larger than would be expected for a fish of their size. In fact, their brain is about the same size as the brain of a cat. They also have a highly developed social structure, a trait that only a very intelligent animal would have the ability to adapt to. This social structure has been the subject of many studies because it closely resembles the social structure of ants or bees.
Fact 2: They Can Be Hosts To Other Creatures
Telescope fish are often parasites or host organisms that benefit from the relationship while harming the host. They are often host to barnacles, which actually feed off the fish’s waste products. While this seems like a parasitic relationship, it’s actually just a balanced relationship. This is because the fish are able to clean their own skin by scraping off the barnacles, while the barnacles are able to feed off of the fish’s slime. This is a sustainable relationship and can actually be beneficial to both parties.
Fact 3: They Have Unique Eyes That Can See in The Dark.
Telescope fish have huge eyes that are very dark blue. This is because of the huge amount of melanin pigments in their eyes, which allows them to see in very low light. This is because of the light-gathering properties of water, which makes it harder to see in dark underwater environments compared to an open space like the surface of the ocean.
Fact 4: They are Born Males, But Can Become Females Later in Life.
Telescope fish have a unique sexual dimorphism, where the males look very different from the females. The males have long, feathery antennae while the females have shorter, feathered antennae. The males can actually change into females later in life, which is a very rare occurrence in the animal kingdom. The reason behind this rare occurrence is that it can be very challenging for a male telescope fish to find a mate because he lives in a low-light environment. The male fish can actually change into a female, which has shorter antennae that are easier to find mates with.
Fact 5: They are Equipped with Bioluminescent Whiskers.
The whiskers on the side of the telescope fish are biological compounds known as luciferins. These compounds are able to produce light and are the same compounds found in fireworks or glowsticks. These whiskers are very sensitive and allow the telescope fish to hunt for food or avoid predators like sharks.
Fact 6: They are Cleaning Specialists
One of the most interesting facts about telescope fish is that they are cleaning specialists. This means that they will eat the parasites and dead skin off of fish like sharks. This is a mutually beneficial relationship because the shark gets a free clean and the telescope fish gets a nice meal!
Fact 7: They Have a Unique Defense Mechanism
The telescope fish have an interesting defense mechanism when threatened. If a predator attacks, the fish will shoot a cloud of glowing bubbles. The predator gets distracted by the glowing bubbles and leaves the fish alone. This is a very interesting defense mechanism that is unique to telescope fish. If the predator doesn’t get distracted, then the telescope fish will actually shoot off its own fin as a distraction. This is a particularly interesting fact about telescope fish because not many fish can shoot their fins off as a defense mechanism.
How Large Is A Telescope Fish?
Telescope fish can grow up to 3 inches long, which is a relatively small size for a fish. This makes them very easy to keep in an aquarium, though they do require a specialized diet. Telescope fish are omnivorous, so they eat both plants and insects. The telescope fish is a popular choice for aquarium fish because of its unique appearance and interesting behaviors. It is important to note that keeping a telescope fish in an aquarium requires specialized feeding and care.
Are Telescope Fish Endangered?
While these fishes are not currently endangered, they are facing a threat in the wild. This is because the telescope fish is often used as bait for fishing. This is not only harmful to the fish, but also to other fish that are caught in the fishing nets because they are exposed to parasites. As more people become interested in keeping telescope fish as pets, it is important to know the proper way to care for them. This will help protect the wild telescope fish populations as well as the future of the aquarium telescope fish population.
As you can see, these fish are more than just pretty faces. Their large eyes are used to detect changes in light, which is helpful for hunting at night. Their large mouths are used to vacuum up food from the ocean floor, but they can also be used to intimidate potential predators. Their large scales are thought to protect them from any potential predators.