Flatfish facts

   The flatfish is any of a large group of fishes with a flattened body and both eyes on one side of the head. There are both right-eyed and left-eyed flatfishes depending on which side of the head the eyes are located. Flatfishes range in length from a few inches to 10 feet. Most of them inhabit salt water, and many are valuable food fish. Among the most valuable and best known are the flounder, halibut, sole, and turboc.
   When newly hatched, flatfishes resemble other young fishes. Within a few days, however, one eye move across the head to the other side, and the body becomes flattened. The side with the eyes develops pigment, usually a dull brown, and the other side remains white or light gray. The flatfish swims with its pigmented side up and its white side underneath. In some species the pigmented side changes color to match its background.
   Flatfishes make up the order Pleuronectiformes.

Bony flatfish