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Flatfishes: Pleuronectiformes

Pacific Halibut (hippoglossus Stenolepis): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Female Pacific halibut reach a length of almost 9 feet (2.7 meters) and a weight of about 498 pounds (226 kilograms). Males are about half that size. The eyes of Pacific halibut are on the right side of the head, and the upper eye is farther forward than the bottom eye. The body is thick and diamond-shaped. The eye side is greenish brown to dark brown or black with lighter blotches. The other side usually is white, sometimes with blotches.

Geographic range: Pacific halibut live in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean.

Habitat: Pacific halibut live near the shore on a variety of bottom types.

Diet: Small Pacific halibut eat bottom-dwelling invertebrates and small fishes. Larger halibut eat almost anything they can catch.

Behavior and reproduction: Pacific halibut are active during the day. They often rise off the bottom and may come close to the surface when Pacific halibut often rise off the bottom and may come close to the surface when chasing prey. (Illustration by Wendy Baker. Reproduced by permission.) chasing prey. Pacific halibut spawn in deep water, move to shallower water for the summer, and then return to deep water. Females can reproduce when they are about twelve years old and males when they are about eight years old. The eggs are fertilized outside the female. Pacific halibut live about forty years.

Pacific halibut and people: Pacific halibut is an important food fish.

Conservation status: Pacific halibut are not threatened or endangered. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesFlatfishes: Pleuronectiformes - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Peacock Flounder (bothus Lunatus): Species Accounts, Pacific Halibut (hippoglossus Stenolepis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, FLATFISHES AND PEOPLE,