parrot fish

parrot fish


Parrot fish (Calotomus)—Douglas Faulkner

Any of about 80 species (family Scaridae) of slender, blunt-headed, deep-bodied fishes found on tropical reefs. They are often brightly coloured and have large scales. The fused teeth form a “beak” used to scrape algae and the soft part of coral from reefs. Platelike teeth in the throat grind the ingested food and bits of coral. Some species grow to 4 ft (1.2 m) long and weigh 45 lb (20 kg). The Indo-Pacific surf, or rivulated, parrot fish (Callyodon fasciatus) grows to 18 in. (46 cm) or more. The queen parrot fish (Scarus vetula) is an Atlantic species.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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