The leatherjacket (Parika scaber) is one of the most distinctive coastal fish around New Zealand. Its tough leathery skin, rigid body and retractable dorsal spine make it formidable to any predator. Its tough teeth and mouth are well suited to browsing sponges from rocks, but it will eat almost anything. Like the snapper, it even takes on the spine-covered sea urchin. The leatherjacket can swim either backwards or forwards using its dorsal and anal fins.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Natural Sciences Image Library of New Zealand
Photograph by Peter E. Smith
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