As the name implies, the Armored Sea Robin is a family of fish that, quite incredibly, has natural armor. They would be quite imposing if they were larger.
The different species rarely draw notice unless caught by trawling activities. The images we use in this article were taken by various submersibles.
The fish resides at depths that humans generally cannot access. The exceptions to that would be the aforementioned (and acceptable) submersible expeditions and the (not acceptable) trawling.
Not surprisingly, these reclusive creatures bear a close relation to the scorpionfish. We know very little about their numbers. For that reason, the IUCN has not yet classified any of the various types of Armored Sea Robin.
Armored Sea Robin Physical Description
Despite its fierce and remarkable appearance, the Armored Sea Robin remains a diminutive creature. In fact, none of the various species exceed 4.75 in (12 cm) in length.
The entire body is covered in thick armor plates, as well as spines.
Both the head and the underbelly of these fish stay quite flat, while the snout develops both broad and long. The armor covering the head and snout ends in a long, pointed wing, almost as if they have a lance to go with their armor.
There also produce barbels below the lower jaw. The body typically has a dark red color and in contrast, the fins show a translucent pink.
Armored Sea Robin Habitat, Behavior, and Ecology
The Armored Sea Robin is a benthic species, living on the ocean floor, at depths of 362 ft (110 m) or more.
They have one other remarkable trait in addition to the armor: they are slow swimmers, preferring to glide along the ocean bottom.
The various species live throughout the world but the majority of these inhabit tropical waters. The most recently discovered species lives off the coast of Costa Rica.
Their diet consists primarily of annelid worms, small crustaceans, and occasionally small fish.
Scientists know virtually nothing about their life cycle or lifespan, since, it seems Nature likes to keep her secrets.