Monday, 13 July 2020


Flounders are a group of flatfish species. They are demersal fish, found at the bottom of oceans around the world. A few of their brethren call estuaries home. 

They undulate their bodies, darting from place to place, then resting on the bottom camouflaged by the muddy bottom. As a group, they belong to the families Achiropsettidae, Pleuronectidae, Paralichthyidae, and Bothidae (order Pleuronectiformes). 

Flounders are born with bilateral symmetry with an eye on each side. A few days later, they begin to lean to the side. The eye on their lower side slowly migrates so both eyes are on top. To make this work, their bodies undergo various changes in bones, nerve and muscular structure. Their undersides slowly lose colour — as who cares what colour your belly is if nobody's going to see it when you mate. But flounders face other pressures.

We complain about first world problems, but stressors in mating for our fishy friends are very real. If a genotypically female flounder is stressed during sexual development, she'll become phenotypically male — though he'll shoot all X's when it comes time to fertilize.