Definitions for acanthuridae

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Acanthuridae, family Acanthuridae(noun)

    surgeonfishes

Freebase

  1. Acanthuridae

    Acanthuridae is the family of surgeonfishes, tangs, and unicornfishes. The family is composed of marine fish living in tropical seas, usually around coral reefs. Many of the species are brightly colored and popular for aquaria. The distinctive characteristic of the family is the scalpellike spines, one or more on either side of the tail, which are dangerously sharp. The dorsal, anal and caudal fins are large, extending for most of the length of the body. The small mouths have a single row of teeth used for grazing on algae. Surgeonfishes sometimes feed as solitary individuals, but they also often travel and feed in schools. It has been suggested that feeding in schools is a mechanism for overwhelming the highly aggressive defense responses of small territorial damselfishes that vigorously guard small patches of algae on coral reefs. Most species are relatively small and have a maximum length of 15–40 cm, but some members of the genus Acanthurus, some members of the genus Prionurus, and most members of the genus Naso can grow larger, with the whitemargin unicornfish, the largest species in the family, reaching a length of up to 1 metre. These fishes can grow quickly in aquariums so it is advisable to check the average growth size and suitability before adding to a marine aquarium.

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"acanthuridae." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 16 Sep. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/acanthuridae>.

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