Tripod fish, Bathypterois grallator, are a deep-sea benthic fish found at lower latitudes. They are now relatively well known from photographs and submersible observations. They seem to prefer to perch on the ooze using much elongated fin rays in their tails and two pelvic fins in order to stand, facing upstream with the pectoral fins turned forward so that the outthrust projecting fin rays resemble multiple antennae. Bathypterois grallator are hermaphroditic. There are at least eighteen species in the genus Bathypterois, several of which have similar appearance and behavior to Bathypterois grallator.
The graceful tripod fish has long, bony rays that stick out below its tail fin and both pectoral (chest) fins. Even though the fish’s body is 14 inches (36 cm) long, its fins can be more than three feet (one m). Most of the time, the tripod fish stands on its three fins on the bottom of the ocean. Even though the fins are presumably quite stiff, researchers have been successful in surprising the fish into swimming, and then the fins seem flexible. It spends much of its adult life standing on the sea floor hunting its food.