Our animals

Common sole

Common sole


LatinSolea solea
Size70 cm
FoodBottom-dwelling animals and small crustaceans
HabitatSandy and muddy bottom

Data deficient

LocationNortheast Atlantic

Eyes on the same side of the head

The Common sole looks weird with its eyes on the same side of its head. But it is practical. This way, the fish can lie down burrowed into the bottom and still see what's going on around it. Flatfish usually have eyes on the right or left side of the head. The Common sole is a right eyed flatfish.

How does a Common sole become flat?

When the larvae hatches from the egg, the European plaice has a normal fish shape. But as it grows to adulthood, it becomes flatter and flatter and one eye moves over toward the other. Finally the eyes are situated right next to each other on the same side of the head.

Recognise a common sole

The common sole is easy to recognise by its rounded head and its oval body shape. On the front of the head, it has small hairs that act as sensors to find food in the sand when it hunts at night.