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Thornback Cowfish Video Stock Footage

Like other members of the family Ostraciidae, the thornback cowfish has hexagonal, plate-like scales which are fused together to form a solid, box-like carapace, from which the eyes, mouth, fins and tail protrude. The mouth is small and has protruding lips, the upper profile of the snout is straight, the back is somewhat convex, the flanks are concave and the belly rounded. There are small pre-ocular spines on either side of the head, a large spine projects from the dorsal ridge and a further moderate-sized spine projects from each of the pelvic ridges near the anal fin. Neither the dorsal fin nor the anal fin has any spines but both have nine soft rays, while the caudal fin is fan-shaped and has ten rays. A typical length for this fish is 15 cm (6 in) the colour is variable, and changes to match the fish's surroundings generally pale tan with spots or wiggly markings in yellow, mauve or blue. In some regions, this fish is toxic. The specific epithet fornasini is in honour of Italian amateur naturalist Carlo Antonio Fornasini, who worked in Mozambique.

Learn more about Thornback Cowfish

Animalia: Chordata: Tetraodontiformes: Actinopterygii: Ostraciidae: Lactoria fornasini

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