Science Experience, Occidental College
The Pacific staghorn sculpin
is a demersal species, which occupies a relatively high trophic level,
feeding mostly on crabs, shrimps and amphipods, but also on larval,
juvenile and adult fishes, as well as polychaete worms, mollusks and
other invertebrates. The maximum reported age for these fish is 10 years.
They have restricted movement, making them an excellent candidate for
correlating the degree of contaminant exposure among sampling locations
with the degree and spatial extent of sediment contamination.
Unlike English sole, Pacific
staghorn sculpin have relatively large adhesive benthic eggs that are
deposited on the substrate (muddy, sandy or rocky bottoms) in clusters,
making them an excellent species for monitoring reproductive impairment in situ and in laboratory studies.