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In its life cycle, an adult flounder has two eyes situated on one side of its head, where at hatching one eye is located on each side of its head. One eye migrates to the other side of the body as a process of metamorphosis as it grows from larval to juvenile stage when the flounder changes its habits and camouflages itself by lying on the bottom of the ocean floor as protection against predators; the side with eyes facing upwards. The side which the eyes migrate to is dependent on the species type.

Flounder ambush their prey, feeding at soft muddy areas of the sea bottom, near bridge piles, docks and coral reefs and have been also found at the bottom of the Mariana trench, the deepest known location on the Earth's crust. Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard and US Navy Lt. Don Walsh reached a depth of 10,916 m (35,813 ft) and were surprised to discover sole or flounder about 30 cm long. Their diet consists mainly of fish spawn, crustaceans, polychaetes and small fish. Flounder grow to a length of typically 12.5 cm to 37.5 cm (5 to 15 in) and can sometimes grow to as large as 45 cm (18 in). Their width is about half of their length.