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Inhabitants of Oregon's Tidepools: Sculpins

Both appearance and behavior benefit this fish.

Usually, it’s the behavior that catches people’s eyes. The mottled patterns that cover the entire body of sculpins help it blend extremely well with the tidepool bottom.These common fish are shaped like long, drawn-out teardrops, but with broad pectoral fins located just past the head.  Rather triangular in cross section and with a long fin that runs down the back, tidepool sculpins rest on the bottom with their pectoral fins spread out on either side.  The entire body is variously marked in browns, olive greens, and whites—often in saddles across the back.  All of the several different species of tidepool sculpins are small, up to several inches long.

The fish will rest/hide quietly, but, when disturbed, will dash off to a new location where it freezes suddenly to blend into the new background, seeming to disappear.

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