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14 amazing camouflaged animals

By: Russell McLendon on March 4, 2011, 11 a.m.
Stonefish

Photo: Steve Childs/Flickr

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Stonefish

If you're ever snorkeling in the Indian or Pacific Ocean, look out for coral reefs looking back at you. You could be staring down a stonefish, the most venomous [skipwords]fish[/skipwords] on Earth.

This stonefish was photographed in Indonesia, but its relatives live in shallow coastal waters from Egypt to Australia. They blend in with a variety of reefs and rocks — hence their name — and hide on the sea floor, waiting to ambush prey. But as a defense, they also have 13 sharp dorsal spines packed with a potent neurotoxin, which reportedly can kill a human within two hours. To avoid stepping on one, experts recommend swimming instead of walking in the ocean. If you must walk, shuffle your feet instead of taking big steps.