As a type of “flatfish,” flounder are ideally suited to life on the ocean floor. They huddle up to the seabed, often aided by speckled skin that helps them blend in, such as this pebble-dwelling flounder. That offers safety from predators, but also lets them ambush prey like shrimp, worms and fish larvae.
Flounder begin life as larvae themselves, but undergo a dramatic metamorphosis as they approach adulthood. One eye drifts to the other side of a young flounder’s head, letting it swim flat with both eyes looking up. Despite their camouflage, though, many flounder are at risk from overfishing, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. If you’re a flounder fan, opt for Pacific rather than Atlantic varieties, specifically avoiding Atlantic dab, sole and hirame.