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Atlantic Halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus


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Atlantic Halibut
credit: Kr¸ger

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Family: Pleuronectidae, Righteye Flounders view all from this family

Description The Atlantic halibut is a right-eyed flounder. It is flattened sideways and habitually lies on the left side of its body with both eyes migrating to the right side of its head during development. Its upper surface is a uniformly dark chocolate, olive or slate colour, and can be almost black (though younger fish are lighter and more mottled); the underside is pale. The end of the caudal fin is concave. Young fish are paler with more mottled colouration.

They are demersal fish, that live on or near sand, gravel or clay bottoms at depths of between 50 and 2,000 metres (160 and 6,600 ft). The halibut is among the largest teleost (bony) fish in the world. Halibut are strong swimmers and are able to migrate long distances. Halibut size is not age-specific, but rather tends to follow a cycle related to halibut (and therefore food) abundance.

It is the largest flatfish in the Atlantic and one of the largest species of flatfish in the world, reaching lengths of up to 4.7 metres (15 ft) and weights of 320 kilograms (710 lb). Its lifespan can reach 50 years.

Dimensions Up to 10' (3 m).

Habitat Ocean or bay shallows, Open ocean.

Range Temperate waters of the northern Atlantic, from Labrador and Greenland to Iceland, the Barents Sea and as far south as the Bay of Biscay.