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March 4, 2006

Onespot fringehead, Neoclinus uninotatus
An unusually cooperative onespot fringehead (Neoclinus uninotatus) poses
for a portrait. These fish are seldom seen out in the open. Usually they tuck
everything but their head into a hole where it can't be seen. You can imagine my
surprise when I stumbled across a pack of onespot fringeheads hunting out in the
open. The group made attempts to eat just about everything in sight. Shrimp,
several nearby ronquils, even rocks if they even vaguely resembled something
more animate. I suspect that the shrimp were the menu item of choice. Certainly,
the little crustaceans were quick to vacate their holes when a fringehead
approached. More definitive proof was a red and white banded shrimp antenna
dangling from the mouth of one of the hunters. Surprisingly, a full mouth didn't
prevent this fish from seeking out additional prey.

    "Shale Island", Monterey Bay, California
    March 4, 2006

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