Horned Sock Fish
The common name of my creature is the Horned Sock Fish. The reason is that on the top of its head there is a horn. The scientific name for my creature is Unichaete Cephal. It got this name because chaete means bristle which is how the horn is described to be felt like. Uni means one, for the one horn. And cephal means head, where the horn is.
A wild male Horned Sock Fish.
Ocean Zone and Habitat
The Horned Sock Fish lives in the benthic and neritic zones. So it lives along the sea floor and in the area over the continental shelf, which is less than 200 meters deep. It would also be considered to live in the euphotic zone. A Horned Sock Fish lives in a coral reef habitat. Some of the abiotic factors would be high sunlight, warm temperature, and low pressure.
Physical Traits and Adaptions to the Environment
One of the most unique physical traits of the Horned Sock Fish is its horn. The horn has black and white stripes and runs the entire length of the fish's back. The average length of it is about 2 feet long and can weigh up to 30 pounds. It has very large is on the side of its head. It has these large eyes so it can easily detect predators. It has small, blue pectoral fins. And it has a blue tipped caudal fin that is uses to swim. The Horned sock fish has adapted well to its environment by living peacefully among coral reefs with other organisms.
The Horned Sock Fish is quite the fast swimmer. Although is has small pectoral fins, its caudal fin makes up for it. Its caudal fin moves fast vertically to propel the fish forward at high speeds.
Like most fish, the Horned Sock Fish uses gills to breathe. It has bright, silver gills right behind its large eyes. The fish takes in water from its mouth and passes water though its gills. As the water passes through the fish takes in the oxygen from the water.
The Horned Sock Fish will eat just about anything that it can fit its mouth around. However, it mostly feeds upon yellowtail snappers and angelfish. To get its prey it uses its tough horn to stun or kill the fish. Then it will devour the prey as quickly and possible. As small prey such as shrimp and seahorses come along it will make sure it does its job to eat it.
One of the Horned Sock Fish's favorite prey.
The reproduction for a Horned Sock Fish is quite simple. Once a male has found a mate it will follow the female as she starts to lay eggs. Then after that the male will fertilize the eggs. At one time a female Horned sock Fish can lay 60 eggs.
The main defense for a Horned Sock Fish is its horn. Its horn is strong enough to penetrate all the way through another fish. Also the tip of the horn of some Horned Sock Fish has been known to have poison on it. There can be enough poison to kill a fish the same size or smaller. The caudal fin is also a good defense strategy for this fish. The blue tip of its caudal fin is hard enough to stun another fish if t were to whip around and hit with it. And the Horned Sock fish has razor sharp teeth that it can use to rip off fins of another fish. They have also been known to take out large chunks of anther fish.
Plankton, Nekton, or Benthos
The Horned Sock Fish is considered a nekton. This is because it can swim actively though the water column. Also, it can be found at many depths in the ocean.