More on the grunt sculpin

Profile of the grunt sculpin

As you can tell by this second post, I’m still obsessed with the grunt sculpin. It’s such a fascinating looking fish. Check out the pinkish-orange feathery looking fins it has along it’s back, sides and tail. It kind of looks like a rock with feathers, only much more sophisticated of course.

According to Milton Love’s book, Probably More Than You want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast, grunt sculpins grow to be about three inches in size. Females often lay their eggs in dead barnacle shells and males usually guard the nest, but females will watch the nest when the male is “indisposed.”

Love details the following story from Jeff Marliave who works at the Vancouver Aquarium: “When a larval grunt sculpin is about to break out of the egg, the guarding parent lifts it up in its mouth, swims into the water column and spits it out. This breaks the egg shell, sending the larvae on its way.” This helps little larvae sculpins avoid being eaten by predators and also must help adult sculpins deal with “empty nest” syndrome. If you’re kicking your kids intentionally out of the nest, it’s harder to be sad about it.


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