The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Bizarre-looking 'fish with legs' found in New Zealand

Experts believe the strange creature is a frogfish, although they can't be sure until it's examined

Doug Bolton
Wednesday 20 January 2016 17:05
Comments
Glenys Howse spotted the strange creature in shallow waters off the coast of New Zealand's North Island
Glenys Howse spotted the strange creature in shallow waters off the coast of New Zealand's North Island

A bizarre creature that appears to be a fish with legs has been found in New Zealand.

The fish, a black, spiny-skinned animal, has two fins on either side of its body. However, rather than being attached close to the abdomen, the fins are turned down and stretched out, looking like two feet that could propel the fish along the sea bed.

The animal was found in the Bay of Islands area in the far north of New Zealand's North Island, in shallow water close to the shore.

Museum Collection Manager Andrew Stewart inspects the strange fish (Pic: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

The fish was picked out of the ocean by wildlife enthusiasts, and at sent the the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, in order to be examined by experts.

Posting a picture of the fish on Facebook, the museum said the "weird creature" is likely to be a species of frogfish, but its true identity will not be known until examinations have finished.

Frogfish are found all over the world, but a number of different species exist.

Typically covered in tiny spines to help camouflage themselves, frogfish have an extremely powerful bite - the fastest of any invertebrate animal on earth.

As the museum noted, their mouths open underwater at a speed almost equal to that of a flying bullet.

It would make sense if the unusual animal was a frogfish, as the species are known for their leg-like fins which they use to crawl around on the ocean floor, preferring this method of movement to swimming.

Unfortunately, the unfortunate fish died after it was taken out of the water, but hopefully it should make a good exhibit for the museum in the years to come.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in