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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the Russian common name for any one of four species of fish of the family Pleuronectidae of the order Pleuronectiformes. These four fishes differ from most of the other fish of their order in that they have a more symmetrical skull and a more slender body. The fishes are distributed in the northern waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. All four species are found in the seas of the USSR.

The Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) and the Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) dwell in the Barents Sea, the Bering Sea, and the Sea of Okhotsk. The Atlantic halibut reaches a length of 4.5 m and a weight of 335 kg. The Greenland halibut is up to 1.2 m long and weighs as much as 45 kg. The Kamchatka flounder (Atheresthes evermanni), which reaches 73 cm in length and usually weighs 2–3 kg, is found in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. The arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias) is sometimes encountered along the coasts of eastern Kamchatka.

All four species of fish are predators. They live close to the bottom; in warm periods of the year they appear at shallower depths. Spawning occurs usually at depths of 300 to 800 m; between 300,000 and 3.5 million pelagic roe are deposited. As in other members of the order Pleuronectiformes, development involves metamorphosis. The fishes have a life-span of up to 30 years.

All four species are commercially valuable.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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