In the great Amazon River there swims a fish.
It is flat and brown.
It is hard to see.
The Amazon leaf fish looks like a fallen leaf!
The leaf fish floats like a fallen leaf.
Like a ninja warrior, it hides carefully.
But when it gets hungry and sees food to eat,
Its mouth opens wide and bites quickly!
What a strange mouth the leaf fish has!
Like a pop-up book, it sticks out fast.
Like a pop-up book, it folds back flat.
Think of all the yummy food this mouth can grab!
Can you hide like a leaf fish, too?
Wear brown clothes to hide with other brown things.
Then sit very still so no one can see.
What a great idea for a game of Hide-and-Seek!
You could say the Amazon leaffish is the ninja warrior of the Amazon River. It blends into its surroundings — but can strike with a deadly weapon when it sees a target!
I took these two photos of leaffish at the Steinhart Aquarium, which is part of the California Academy of Sciences museum in San Francisco, California, USA. “Cal Academy” is a wonderful science museum for all ages, even hosting weekly soirées inside the museum for the grown-up crowd.
The second video — of the baby leaffish feeding — was also filmed by Cal Academy. Find more Cal Academy videos on their YouTube channel.
Read more about the Amazon leaffish in the original Better Know a Fish blogpost: https://betterknowfish.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/amazon-leaffish-monocirrhus-polyacanthus/
Monocirrhus polyacanthus Heckel, 1840
Amazon Leaffish (click for names in other languages)
Monocirrhus means “single curl”, referring to the whisker-like appendage on the fish’s chin, while polyacanthus means “many spines”.
— Ben Young Landis