Definitions for dactylopteridae
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Dactylopteridae, family Dactylopteridae(noun)
The flying gurnards are a family, Dactylopteridae, of marine fish notable for their greatly enlarged pectoral fins. As they cannot literally fly, an alternative name preferred by some authors is helmet gurnards. They are the only family in the suborder Dactylopteroidei. They have been observed to "walk" along sandy sea floors while looking for crustaceans and other small invertebrates by using their pelvic fins. Like the true gurnards, to which they may be related, they possess a swim bladder with two lobes and a "drumming muscle" that can beat against the swim bladder to produce sounds. They have heavy, protective, scales, and the undersides of their huge pectoral fins are brightly coloured, perhaps to startle predators. Most species live in the Indo-Pacific, but at least one is native to the Atlantic. The adults live on the sea bottom, but many species have an extended larval stage, which floats freely in the oceans.
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