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Any of 10–12 species (genus Squatina, family Squatinidae) of sharks having a flattened head and body, with winglike pectoral and pelvic fins that make them resemble rays. The tail bears two dorsal fins, and behind each eye is a prominent spiracle. Monkfish grow up to 6.25 ft (2.5 m) long. They inhabit tropical and warm temperate waters of continental shelves worldwide. The angelfish, or angel shark (S. squatina), is often caught for food in European waters. The term monkfish is also used for the unrelated food species of the genus Lophius, bottom-dwelling goosefish with enormous mouths and fishing rod lures extending from their heads.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on monkfish, visit Britannica.com.