This was originally posted Nov.9th, 2009.
In my next life, I would like to be one of these guys.
I find them almost as funny as I find hippos...(and, I rarely laugh as hard as I did the time I watched a documentary featuring hippos) Sarcastic Fringehead! Best name ever.
The sarcastic fringehead - Neoclinus blanchardi - can be found in the waters of the Pacific Coast from San Francisco down to Baja California. Though the Fringehead is a small fish, rarely reaching a foot in length, they are known to be quite aggressive, even swimming after divers. Their native habitat is empty shells and small caves or burrows - though they are often observed living quite comfortably in discarded beer bottles and soda cans. Milton Love, noted fish biologist and author of "Probably More Than You Wanted to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast" has this to say about the fringehead:"Sarcastic fringeheads are occasionally taken by both sport and commercial fishermen, and when this happens, no one is completely comfortable. The fish tend to be cranky and the fishermen tend to be nervous. I have seen very rugged commercial fishermen, men who laugh in the face of danger, doing fairly amusing little dances while a 6-inch-long fish clamp sharp teeth around their thumbs."
and this one:
These fish are found along open coastlines on sand or hard mud bottoms , outside the breaker zone in depths of 3-73 m (10-240 ft ). They live in various kinds of shelters , such as empty clam or snail shells , abandoned burrows, and cracks in clay or rock outcroppings. They also find human trash such as cans and bottles satisfactory as a home worth protecting. Whatever the shelter used, a sarcastic fringehead claims it as its home territory, fiercely defending it against intruders. The larger the container , the larger the fringehead occupying it.
These fish give a whole new meaning to coveting someone elses stuff. Imagine if that was our way of dealing with the real estate market. You like someone else's house, so you just...take it. Sarcastically. With a really grumpy look on your face.
I could get into that.