Now’s your chance to cast your eyes upon the rarely seen and aptly named feather star. Visit our Puget Sound Fish exhibit to marvel over these graceful echinoderms—you may find it hard to believe they’re related to sea stars, sea cucumbers, sand dollars and sea urchins!
Have you seen the grunt sculpins in the Seattle Aquarium’s Puget Sound Fish exhibit? They’re entertaining to watch because of their awkward way of swimming: they “crawl” on the tips of their finger-like pectoral fins in a series of twitchy hops, jerks and jumps.
Spotted ratfish, Hydrolagus colliei, are cartilaginous fishes (meaning their skeletons are composed of cartilage) related to sharks, rays, and skates. Males have a club-like structure on the snout called a tenaculum, which they use to hold the female’s pectoral fin during mating. Staying connected is important since mating may last anywhere from half an hour to two full hours.
A six-month-old spotted ratfish is the latest addition to our Puget Sound Fish exhibit. Writes Aquarium Biologist Katie Metz, “As far as we know, it’s the first spotted ratfish hatched in a captive setting that has survived more than 24 hours. This may be a significant milestone in the captive rearing community. Little is known about the early years of this species because they hatch 200-300 feet down. We see them in more shallow waters when diving locally, but the eggs are typically already opened and non-viable.”