Sea Life Gordon’s split personality is a bit fishy
IS he a fish? Is he a crocodile?
At first glance, visitors would be forgiven for thinking Gordon the crocodile fish should be in the same Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre display tank as West African dwarf crocodiles Ntombi and Masozi.
The only one of his kind at any UK Sea Life centre, Gordon does resemble his reptilian neighbours in more than just appearance.
A type of tropical ocean flatfish, he is also an ambush predator, lying perfectly still on the seabed until a smaller unwary fish or crab wanders too close. Then he lunges with lightning speed to engulf his unlucky victim in his cavernous jaws.
'Feeding time for Gordon is going to be a fantastic spectacle for visitors,' said Senior Aquarist Darren Gook.
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'We have to move his food slowly towards him at the end of a long stick and gently touch his nose with it. Then he moves so quick it can be a bit startling.'
Gordon is also superbly camouflaged. His mottled colouring blends in perfectly with the seabed, and even his eyelids have frilly edges to prevent his jet-black pupils giving him away.
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Measuring just over a foot long, Gordon – a native of marine reefs in the Western Pacific - has been housed in his own display tank towards the end of the Sea Life tour.
'He's sure to provide a fitting finale to what is already a pretty amazing journey,' said Darren.