Nick Matzke posted Entry 2217 on April 15, 2006 11:28 PM.
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Bergstrom_2006_flatfish_polymorphs.jpgI have just come across the world’s coolest flatfish picture, and I just thought I would share. Apparently seven of the world’s 550 species of flounder are actually polymorphic for which side of the juvenile becomes the new “top” side in the adult flatfish. Apparently either eye can pop out and rotate to the new top. This says some rather interesting things about the developmental processes involved.

For more, go check out the webpage describing the research of famed flatfish researcher Dr. Carolyn Bergstrom of Bamfield Marine Science Centre in Bamfield, British Columbia.

See also this random discussion, on “Why did the flatfish’s eye move from one side to the other?,” and this funny reply, and this other random post.

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Comment #96756

Posted by PZ Myers on April 16, 2006 7:39 AM (e)

There’s also this post on the mechanics of flounder metamorphosis.

Comment #96778

Posted by Moses on April 16, 2006 11:47 AM (e)

Have I ever mentioned that flat-fish gross me out. Have no idea why, they just do…

But at least I don’t try to re-write science to prove flat-fish can’t exist because it offends a personal sensibility or belief…

Comment #96791

Posted by Macht on April 16, 2006 1:14 PM (e)

Hey Nick, this is offtopic, but Hugo answered your questions a while ago. Not sure if you forgot about them or not.

Comment #96807

Posted by Nick Matzke on April 16, 2006 3:23 PM (e)

Thanks for pointing that out, Macht, I had not seen it.

Comment #96824

Posted by Ron Okimoto on April 16, 2006 5:40 PM (e)

I’d wondered whether there were lefties and righties. Thanks for the links. It looks like it is genetic. What could be the genetic change to cause the shift to the right instead of the left?

Comment #97040

Posted by Zero on April 17, 2006 9:33 PM (e)

Well, there is obviously more to it than meets the eye.
Did you hear about the man who lost his left side?
He’s all right now.


Comment #97212

Posted by Ken Shaw on April 18, 2006 9:08 PM (e)

Is any one else having problems seeing this post? I don’t really feel like going through the HTML but this post has text which disappers for some reason.

Comment #97218

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 18, 2006 10:00 PM (e)

I have problems on certain computers (like when I’m visiting my folks) where posts with pictures cause the text to disappear. My best guess is that it is (an older version of?) Internet Explorer that causes the problem. You can highlight the text to make it legible.