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Flatheads Gurnards Scorpionfishes and Relatives: Scorpaeniformes

Physical Characteristics

The characteristic that gurnards, flatheads, scorpionfishes, greenlings, and sculpins have in common is a bone that connects the bones under the eye with the front of the gill cover. In all but one species, a bony ridge below the eyes makes the head look armored. Flatheads and flying gurnards have large pectoral (PECK-ter-uhl) fins, the pair that corresponds to the front legs of four-footed animals. These fishes use the rays, or supporting rods, of these fins to "walk" on the sea floor. All scorpionfishes have sharp spines on their bodies. Some of these fishes display bright warning colors and are highly venomous, venom being poison made by the animals. Greenlings and sculpins have a flat head and large pectoral fins. They have no swim bladder, an internal sac that fishes use to control their position in the water.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesFlatheads Gurnards Scorpionfishes and Relatives: Scorpaeniformes - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Oriental Helmet Gurnard (dactyloptena Orientalis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, FLATHEADS G