Fun Turbot Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 11, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde
Interesting facts about turbot fish

Are you interested in knowing about a fish that is considered one of the noblest of all fishes on the planet? Here we present to you the Turbot fish which belongs to the phylum Chordata, order Pleuronectiformes and class Actinopterygii.

Though flatfishes are very similar to one another, the flounder is different from a Turbot.

Similarly, the Halibut is also different from a Turbot. The Turbot fish taste is delicate in taste and is a healthy fish, thus people are often seen buying large quantities of this fish to acquire the wild Turbot taste.

The fishing of this fish even led to a war named the Turbot War between Canada and Spain in 1995.

It started due to fishing rights in certain areas and demonstrated the extent to which countries would go in order to win and protect their fishing rights and fisheries. An agreement was reached so there was no physical war!

In this article, you will learn a lot about Turbot vs Halibut, Turbot vs flounder, about various European Turbot species, and types of Turbots like hornyhead Turbot, diamond Turbot, Farmed Turbot, Greenland Turbot fish, Cornish Turbot, Alaskan Turbot, and about Turbot fish nutrition. If you find our content informative then check out brook trout and yellow bass facts too.

Turbot Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a turbot?

Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) is a type of flatfish that belongs to the family Scophthalmidae. These are predatory fishes in nature however they serve as very good fish food.

What class of animal does a turbot belong to?

The Turbot is a fish that belongs to the class of Actinopterygii of the Animalia kingdom.

How many turbots are there in the world?

There is no data or statistics which ascertains the exact number of Turbots that are found on our planet. Since the fish species is categorized as Vulnerable, there has been a steady decline in the population of these species. Loss of habitat, extreme fishing, and other similar activities have lead to the decline of the number of species.

Where does a turbot live?

Turbots are flatfishes that can be extensively found in the waters of the Baltic Sea, Northeast Atlantic, and the Mediterranean Sea. These fishes are usually bottom feeders and thus feeds on fishes and other marine and aquatic animals like crabs and other crustaceans.

These fishes can be found at a depth range of around 65.7-230 ft or 20-70 m approximately.

What is a turbot's habitat?

The Turbot is a type of flatfish that is usually found in brackish waters. Brackish water can be effectively defined as a mixture of freshwater as well as saline water but not as saline as that of seawater.

This type of habitat is usually found in places near the sea like estuaries and others. These fishes are also farmed extensively for their meat.

Who do turbots live with?

There is very little information that gives us an insight as to the social life and characteristics of these fishes. However, we can assume their social life based on a little bit of extensive research.

Since Turbot is a type of flatfish, the behavior of Turbots too will be similar to that of flatfishes. Flatfishes are usually fishes that don't love to travel in schools.

Many flatfishes are can be solitary in nature however others are more social and can be found in groups. During the season of mating or breeding, these fishes can be found in pairs.

How long does a turbot live?

Turbots are fishes that have a relatively longer lifespan in comparison to other flatfishes or edible fishes. In these fishes, there is an uneven distribution of lifespan among the male and the female variants of the fish.

The females usually have a greater lifespan in comparison to the male species. The males can live up to almost 20 years while the females have a lifespan of roughly about 25 years.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction in these species of fishes is very interesting as the breeding season differs in different places and in different habitats.

The mating or the breeding period of these fishes usually takes place in the months of early spring and ranges from February to April in the Mediterranean Sea while in the Atlantic Ocean and its neighboring areas, the mating season occurs in summer i.e from the months of May to July.

The mating usually takes place between the male and the female fishes within a fixed time span of two to four days.

The female of these species of fish is known to lay several thousands of eggs, each being a fat drop.

Once the egg hatches, little hatchlings, or in this case, the larvae swim freely. Once the larvae undergo complete transformation or metamorphosis, the right eye of the fish moves to the left, and thus the symmetry of the fish changes.

It effectively becomes non-symmetrical from the initial phase of uniform bilateral symmetry.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN Red List has posted this species of fish as Vulnerable species. These fish despite being food fish is slowly edging towards the grasp of extinction.

The loss of suitable habitat, low spawning of the larvae, and human activities have led to the fish being marked as Vulnerable from the previous status as Near Threatened. Overfishing by humans is also one of the major reasons which have led to the steady decline in the population of Turbot fish.

Turbot Fun Facts

What do turbots look like?

Turbots are flatfishes that are almost round or circular in shape. These fishes are usually quite large in size and can be found in a variety of color shades ranging from light to gray-brown with dark markings.

The Turbot fish have only one eye, on the left side. Usually, these fishes have two eyes in the larvae stage but after maturity or metamorphosis, the right eye shifts and they have only one eye.

The sides of the fish are different.

The right side of the fish has no scales and is smooth and plain while the left side of the fish which has the eye is also devoid of any scales and they have bony structures called tubercles in their place. These bony tubercles are found in the upper portion of the fish.

Turbot resting on seabed

How cute are they?

Though the Turbot is a food fish and is considered a delicacy in many places, the fish cannot be considered as cute from its physical descriptions. These fishes can be considered ugly as well as gruesome. Moreover, with just a single eye, these circular flatfishes look extremely odd.

How do they communicate?

There is very limited information as to how one Turbot communicates with another Turbot or with other species of fishes or other animals in general. However, the majority of fishes be it streamlined or flatfishes follow a generic process in communicating with one another.

Fishes are known to communicate with one another based on their body movements which can also be referred to as silent mechanisms.

Fishes are also known to respond to other fishes based on the perception of motion and gestures. Other special types of fishes communicate with one another by releasing special chemicals from their body glands.

How big is a turbot?

Turbot fishes are flatfishes that are known to reach quite large sizes in the seas or oceans based not their respective habitats and locations.

These fishes can grow up to as large as 40 in or 1 m in length. In comparison with other flatfishes that are found in the world, the Turbot can be considered an average-sized fishes.

The Atlantic Halibut has a gigantic length of around 8.2 ft or 2.5 m while the smallest of flatfishes, the Tarphops oligolepis has a length of roughly around 1.8 in or 4.5 cm.

How fast can a turbot swim?

There is no statistical data that gives us the exact speed of these fishes. However, we can make an assumption based on their behavior, their predatory style, and in comparison with the generic flatfishes that are found on earth. Mainly flatfishes swim in a horizontal posture and they tend to glide from one place to another in small patches.

How much does a turbot weigh?

In comparison to the size of these fishes, the weight too of these fishes can be considered as average. These fishes tend to weigh around 55 lb or 25 kg approximately.

In comparison with other flatfishes like the Atlantic Halibut, the Turbot is almost 13 times less in weight. The Atlantic Halibut can weigh around 697 lb or 316 kg approximately.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Similar to other fishes and those of a flatfish, the males and female variants of this species of fish are assorted or specified. Thus they can be referred to as male Turbot fish and female Turbot fish.

What would you call a baby turbot?

Despite the fact that after hatching from eggs, the Turbot takes the shape of larvae and even undergoes metamorphosis, they are not referred to as larvae. The baby fish is called fry, and in the case of a Turbot, they are referred to as a Turbot fry.

What do they eat?

The Turbots are opportunistic predators. They camouflage themselves with the surroundings and attack their prey when the latter is distracted. These fishes are carnivores and are voracious eaters. The usual diet of these fishes includes the likes of crabs and codlings.

Are they eaten by humans?

Yes. The Turbot is eaten by humans and is considered a delicacy in many parts of the globe.

As flatfishes constitute a substantial portion of the diet of many people, these fishes also serve as the staple diet of many fishermen and island natives. The white flesh of this fish is rich in vitamins, minerals and also imparts a different flavor to the dish in comparison with normal food fishes.

As a result, these fishes are also farmed extensively for their meat.

Would they make a good pet?

No these fishes would not make good pets. First of all, these are fishes that survive in their natural habitat.

So if you want to keep them as pets then you need to make a perfectly suitable habitat for them. Secondly, these fishes are categorized as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List, so it is highly unlikely that you can get permission to keep these fishes as pets.

Did you know...

The Turbot is called the king of fish. These fishes are known to impart a different and particular flavor to the food. These fishes are extremely costly and thus it is rightly named as the king of fish.

What is another name for turbot?

The Roman poet Juvenal named the Turbot 'The Emperor's Turbot' in the first century CE after he introduced this fish dish to the entire Roman empire.

Do turbots have scales?

No these fishes are devoid of any scales on their body. These fishes have bony tubercles that are present on the upper left side of the fish just below the eye. The other side of the fish is smooth and plain.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including Pacific salmon, or walleye fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Turbot coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit Shinde picture

Ankit ShindeBachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit is a Journalism and Mass Media graduate from the University of Mumbai. With experience in SEO, blog and article writing, and fiction writing, he is a versatile writer and content creator. In his free time, Ankit enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music.

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