Raton's Namesake
Raton (Polydactylus approximans) by Mike Henry QM3(SS)
The Raton is a fish found mainly in the Eastern Pacific from Monterey Bay, California to Peru, but has been known to migrate out of its home range as far as New Guinea, the South China and Java Seas, Subic Bay, Hong Kong and Borneo in seek of better prey.  Its body is grayish with no spots or stripes.  Ratons are biologically adapted to ocean depths less than 30 meters, but if situations demand they can dive to the ocean floor and rest on sand or mud until safer conditions prevail near the surface.  It's an omnivorous feeder, but prefers large, slow-moving prey items near the surface.  It has a keen sense of hearing and can detect its enemies from great distances, and is known to use agressive swimming tactics to escape them.  Ratons use an internal organ called a "swimbadder" filled with air or metabolic products to help maintain their depth.  The Raton's only known predators are from the families Carangidae (jacks and pompanos) and Scombridae (mackerels, tunas, and benitos), which are all known to be more fast-attacking predators.
Special thanks to Dr. Ron Fritzsch (Humboldt State University) and FishBase www.FishBase.org